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Carri Geer Thevenot

Food manager files equal pay lawsuit against Station Casinos

28 April 2014

The food and beverage director at Texas Station Gambling Hall and Hotel filed a federal lawsuit Friday that accuses her employer of violating the Equal Pay Act.

Michelle Cox claims Station Casinos, Inc. has a practice or policy “of intentionally refusing to compensate women equal pay for similar work done by male co-employees.”

Lori Nelson, spokeswoman for the Las Vegas company, declined to discuss the lawsuit’s allegations.

“We don’t comment on pending litigation,” she said.

According to the complaint, Cox is the only female food and beverage director employed at the company’s 16 wholly owned properties. She receives an annual salary of $80,000 a year.

“Cox performs identical work compared to her male counterparts,” the lawsuit alleges. “Her male counterparts receive higher compensation than Cox. In fact, Cox discovered her male counterpart — Ryan Fahey — earns at least $30,000 more, per year, than Cox.”

The lawsuit claims Station’s discriminatory pay practices also affect other positions, such as assistant food and beverage directors and restaurant general managers.

“Cox only learned of Station’s discriminatory pay practices last month, when she received copies of documents establishing Station’s discriminatory pay practices,” the complaint alleges.

According to the lawsuit, Cox’s male counterparts who were doing identical work earned a higher pay rate, including salary and bonuses, than her.

“In fact, Cox was nearly forced to transfer to another location — Sunset Station Hotel and Casino — for the identical rate of pay: $80,000 and for an additional $5,000 incentive,” the lawsuit alleges. “Cox rejected the forced relocation.”

Fahey subsequently moved to Sunset Station, where he receives an annual salary of at least $115,000, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit claims Cox is aware of the following pay discrepancies based on gender:

¦ Alam Levaya, a man, was paid $70,000 to start at Santa Fe Station as assistant food and beverage director. Cox’s starting rate was $60,000 for the same position and job responsibilities.

¦ Mark Gilbert, a man, started at $80,000 a year as a nightclub manager. Cheryl Lyn, a woman, started at $50,000 a year.

¦ J.R. Degan, a man, earned $95,000 a year as the food and beverage director at Green Valley Ranch Resort. Cox, however, only made $72,500, and Degan reported to Cox.
Food manager files equal pay lawsuit against Station Casinos is republished from