Female Veterinarian Plausibly Alleges Equal Pay Act Claims

In Chiaramonte v. The Animal Medical Center, the Southern District of New York recently held that plaintiff successfully pleaded – “by a very narrow margin” – claims under the federal Equal Pay Act and its New York equivalent.

In this case,

Plaintiff alleges in the Amended Complaint that she, in addition to serving as a veterinary internist, managed the President’s Council and the Rehabilitation and Fitness Center at AMC. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 10-11). She further alleges that one Dr. Doug Palma made $50,000 more than Plaintiff in 2011, though he is of lower seniority, works only four days per week, and “did not have additional responsibilities at the President’s Council or the Rehabilitation and Fitness Clinic.” (Id. at ¶ 31). Plaintiff alleges that she and Palma share the same specialty and that she has more years of experience. (Id.at ¶¶ 10, 11, 31).

Defendants insist that this allegation is not enough because Plaintiff has “mentioned not one scintilla of information about the job descriptions” of any comparators, and has failed to “include even the briefest description of their work responsibilities.” (Def. Br. 14). But as the foregoing makes clear, Plaintiff has done so. She has alleged that she and Palma both performed similar work as veterinarians practicing internal medicine; that, in addition to those duties, she shouldered responsibilities that Palma did not match; and that, if anything, she worked under more demanding conditions than he, including working more days each week. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 10, 31). As such, Plaintiff has described her job responsibilities in comparison to the job responsibilities of a male comparator so as to allege that they performed substantially equal work.

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