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The Maine State Nurses Association congratulates Dr. Clare Mundell on the recent ruling that repays her for Northern Light’s discriminatory pay practices against her.
A U.S. District Court judge just ruled that Northern Light had violated Maine’s Equal Pay Act in Mundell’s case. At Northern Light’s Acadia Hospital here in Bangor, Mundell was paid about half of what her male colleagues had been paid. Now, Northern Light must pay Mundell triple damages.
Caregiving professions are staffed mostly by women in our country, but the wages and working conditions of these women are largely controlled by men. And as we can see in this case, men doing the same work often make more than their female colleagues.
It is no wonder that employers often discourage employees from talking about their rates of pay with co-workers. Injustices such as these grow and fester in the dark. But exposure of these practices allows them to be rooted out and ended. As Mundell tells us: “We all have the right to talk about what we are paid with our co-workers. I encourage all workers to share this information freely with one another. In this context, knowledge truly is power.”
In our union, we always bargain for transparent pay scales that treat everyone the same, regardless of gender, age, skin color or sexual orientation. We wish this same pay justice and equity for all working people, especially nurses and other caregivers. And we could not be happier for Dr. Mundell and her victory for herself and all of us.
Maine State Nurses Association