The Attorney General for the state of New Jersey has filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against Hilton Hotels after learning that one of the chain’s budget hotels, Homewood Suites, had been paying a female employee less than they paid male employees for the exact same job. One of the males who was making more was the Plaintiff’s own son.

According to the complaint filed by the state’s Attorney General Christopher Porrino, Rosa Lopez was hired in 2011 as a “house person” by Homewood Suites at a pay rate of $8.00 an hour. Over the next two years she received two pay increases, with the first paying her twenty more cents per hour, and then another increase of 16 cents per hour a year later. In the same period of time the hotel hired six male employees for the same job at pay rates of $9 and $10 per hour. According to Porrino, this is counter to New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination. “Employers have a duty under the law to treat male and female workers equally, and that most assuredly includes hourly wages.”

Making matters worse, when Lopez tried to discuss the difference between her pay rate and that of the male employees with her supervisor and the hotel’s manager, she was fired. This type of retaliation is against the law.

The state is pursuing justice for Ms. Lopez in the form of back pay (pay that she would have received had she not been terminated), her loss in benefits, and interest on the damages claimed. The state’s Attorney General is also working for pay equality for other employees of Homewood Suites and to get the hotel chain to take corrective action and cease both their discriminatory and retaliatory practices.

When an employee suspects that they are the victims of discrimination under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, or if they have been retaliated against for reporting discrimination, they have several options available to them to fight the discrimination and retaliation. In New Jersey, it is not necessary to take discrimination claims to State and Federal agencies. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the Conscientious Employee Protection Act permit employees to take their claims directly to Court.

If you believe that you have been the victim of employment discrimination and would like to speak to an experienced attorney, contact our law firm today.