The Justice Department has reached a settlement with Mississippi Delta Community College (MDCC) to resolve allegations that MDCC discriminated against Pamela Venton on the basis of race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Title VII is a federal statute that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.

According to the United States’ complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, MDCC did not have a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for paying Pamela Venton, who is black, a significantly lower annual salary than four of her white coworkers working in the same position with the same duties and responsibilities. Ms. Venton complained internally about the wage disparities and, while MDCC agreed to adjust her salary beginning with the next academic school year, it did not compensate Ms. Venton for her lost wages.

“This settlement agreement reflects the Civil Rights Division’s continued commitment to vigorous enforcement of Title VII’s prohibition against race-based pay decisions,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, MDCC has agreed to pay $75,000 in back pay and compensatory damages to Ms. Venton. In addition, MDCC has agreed to implement appropriate training on identifying and correcting unlawful wage discrimination.

Ms. Venton originally filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC’s Jackson, Mississippi, office investigated the charges and made reasonable cause findings. After unsuccessful conciliation efforts, the EEOC referred the charges to the Justice Department.   back...
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