A decade-long gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) has finally come to an end after New York City officials have agreed to pay $20.8 million to registered nurses and midwives. In a federal suit, it was alleged that the city failed to recognize that work conducted by city-employed nurses and midwives is physically taxing. This classification has allowed those in male-dominated professions, such as EMTs and plumbers, to retire after 25 years of service with full benefits beginning at the age of 50.
Despite multiple attempts by the NYSNA, female-dominated professions of nursing and midwifery were never added to the list of those that are physically taxing occupations since 1968. Therefore, city-employed nurses and midwives have to wait until the ages of 55 or 57 to retire with full pensions.
Class Action Suit Filed in Federal Court
In 2008, the NYSNA filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that New York City discriminated against them based on gender. The EEOC found that nurses are on their feet during most of their shifts, are often required to transport patients and heavy equipment, and are exposed to various types of injuries and illnesses.
A New York State Association board member, and one of the plaintiffs in the case, explained that the average nurse moves about 1.8 tons of weight per shift. She continued to argue that the only thing that women have in this country right now is the right to vote and run for office, not equal pay for equal work.
Results of the Settlement
The settlement will be split among more than 1,600 current or former hospital employees who were hired between Sept. 15, 1965 and March 31, 2012. Once approved, this means that the city will pay each plaintiff between $1,000 and $99,000 depending upon their years of service and what would have been their age of eligibility for retirement.
A United States Attorney for the Eastern District stated that city nurses and midwives care for sick and injured adults, juveniles, and infants under difficult circumstances, and should be recognized as doing physically taxing work. The American Nurses Association, which represents three million nurses, explained that it was about time for this result, stating that the settlement agreement is a great win for the nursing profession as it exemplifies nurses’ significant contribution and dedication to patient care.
Middletown Employment Discrimination Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Clients in All Areas of Employment Law
If you are an employer or employee and have experienced or are involved in any form of employment discrimination, it is important that you seek the help of a Middletown employment discrimination lawyer at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. We pride ourselves in providing the service that you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 732-842-6500 for a free consultation today. With office locations in Marlton and Red Bank, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the state.