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EEOC accuses Royal Tire of violating equal pay law


A tire company failed to pay a female executive the same salary as her male predecessor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in a lawsuit.

The EEOC announced last week that it had filed a lawsuit charging St. Cloud, Minn.-based Royal Tire Co., a tire and related services company with commercial and retail locations throughout the Midwest, with failing to pay Human Resources Director Christine Fellman-Wolf the same salary it had paid her male predecessor.

The lawsuit accuses the company of violating the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

John Rowe, director of the EEOC’s Chicago district, said in a statement that Ms. Fellman-Wolf, who started her job in 2008, was paid about $35,000 less than her predecessor, despite her extensive experience.

Although Ms. Fellman-Wolf received regular raises until she left in July 2011, her salary never reached that of her predecessor.

“Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy signing the Equal Pay Act,” EEOC Chicago Regional Attorney John C. Hendrickson said in a statement. “The time has long since passed for women to earn less money for doing the same work as their male counterparts. Unfortunately, it appears that not all employers have gotten the message that Congress stated 50 years ago.”

A Royal Tire spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

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