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U.S. Court of Federal Claims Allows Equal Pay Act Claim to Proceed; Allows Amendment

On January 26, 2011 Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims rejected the Government's motion to dismiss postal manager Beverly Martin's pay discrimination claim. Martin v. United States, Case No. 10-183C (Fed. Cl.) Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan represent Ms. Martin. Ms. Martin, an employee of the U.S. Postal Service, sued under the Equal Pay Act, alleging that the Postal Service paid her less than her male successor for performing the same duties. Judge Williams' decision rejected the Government's argument that the recent Supreme Court Iqbal and Twombly decisions effectively required Ms. Martin to prove her Equal Pay Act case outright in order to survive a motion to dismiss. In particular, Judge Williams held that Ms. Martin properly alleged that the actual job duties she and the male comparator performed in their respective positions, and not their formal job titles, controlled whether or not they could be compared for pay discrimination analysis. Judge Williams also ruled that the fact that the male comparator did the job after Ms. Martin was no bar to Ms. Martin's Equal Pay Act claims. 

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