Illinois district pays $600,000 to settle pay discrimination lawsuit

2 female assistant principals in the Granite City district said they were paid less than their male counterparts.

An Illinois school district has agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a pay discrimination lawsuit brought by two female administrators.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Nikki Petrillo and Stacie Miller, both assistant principals at Granite City High School, contended that their male colleagues have received higher starting salaries and have been given larger pay raises when they were promoted.

In settling the lawsuit, Granite City School District 9 denied discriminating against Petrillo or Miller. It stated that any differences in salary were based on “gender neutral factors.”

The lawsuit says the salary of a man who was named a new assistant principal in the 2011-12 school year was higher than Petrillo’s salary after three years in the same position, according to the lawsuit.

Miller was promoted from a teaching position at the same time with the same pay. But the lawsuit states she had five more years of experience and one more master’s degree than the man.

According to the lawsuit, Petrillo complained about the pay disparities in 2012, citing sex discrimination, and was soon “forced” back into the classroom as a teacher with a pay cut.

She says the demotion was retaliation for speaking out. The district denied that allegation in the settlement agreement.

Under the agreement, the district’s insurer will pay $477,000 of the total settlement. Back wages make up the rest of the payment.

The total amount Petrillo will get is $242,500, plus $178,500 for her attorneys. Miller will receive a total of $102,500, plus $76,500 for her attorneys.

Petrillo, who was promoted to assistant principal again in 2014, will also have a new salary of $94,462, according to the agreement.

Miller agreed to retire no later than July 28, 2023, as part of the settlement.



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