The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEVIN
Pending are summary judgment motions by Defendants Charles H. Givines ("Givines") and James Harper ("Harper"). For the reasons set forth below, this Court grants the motions.
In this suit, Plaintiff sues Defendant City of Harvey (the "City") for sex discrimination and violation of the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)(1).
Plaintiff further sues Defendants Givines, the Superintendent of the Department of Streets for the City, and Harper, Plaintiff's direct supervisor and foreman of the street department crews for the City, under the Equal Pay Act.
The Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying similarly situated employees differently on the basis of their gender. Givines and Harper have moved for summary judgment on Plaintiff's Equal Pay Act claims against them, asserting that they may not be held individually liable on the claim. In response, Plaintiff argues that Givines and Harper may be held individually liable on the Equal Pay Act claim.
Although the Seventh Circuit has not addressed the specific question at issue here,
a number of district courts analyzing the Equal Pay Act's definition of employer, including the most recent decisions, have concluded that actions an individual took as the agent of an employer cannot result in individual liability. See, e.g., Anderson v. Aurora Township, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19636, No. 97 C 2477, 1997 WL 769461 at *2 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 9, 1997); Varner v. Illinois State Univ., 972 F. Supp. 458, 463-64 (C.D. Ill. 1997); Pommier v. James L. Edelstein Enterps., 816 F. Supp. 476, 481 (N.D. Ill. 1993).
Though stated in different ways, these courts have held that the Equal Pay Act, in essence, is a blood sibling of, and conceptually interfaces with, the employment discrimination statutes (namely, Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (the "ADA") and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (the "ADEA")), rather than of the Fair Labor Standards Act which it was physically added to.
Accordingly, the court finds that the Equal Pay Act does not allow for suits against defendants in their individual capacity. Summary judgment must therefore be granted in favor of Givines and Harper.
For the foregoing reasons, the summary judgment motions of Defendants Charles H. Givines and James Harper are granted, and Plaintiff's Equal Pay Act claims against Givines and Harper are dismissed with prejudice.
United States Magistrate ...