Black BNY Mellon Worker's Pay Bias Claims Go Forward

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By Jay-Anne B. Casuga

Aug. 16 — A black Bank of New York Mellon office manager can proceed to trial on claims she was paid less than white workers because of her race and color, a federal judge in New York ruled ( Rogers v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon , 2016 BL 263535, S.D.N.Y., No. 09-8551, 8/15/16 ).

Compensation discrimination claims continue to be hot, and this ruling provides an example of the type of evidence, or lack thereof, that will send an employee's pay bias claims to a jury.

Jacqueline Rogers presented evidence that similarly situated white office managers received higher salaries and were reviewed more often for raises, Judge Henry Pitman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held Aug. 15.

BNY Mellon offered no evidence that the managers who received higher pay had better credentials or more experience than Rogers, the court said, denying summary judgment to the bank on Rogers' pay bias claims under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law.

Pay Data Sends Claim to Jury

BNY Mellon contended that Rogers' salary was “commensurate” with the pay received by other office managers, and that her salary review cycle was based on the uniform application of company policy.

But the bank submitted a chart containing pay data that contradicted that argument, the court said.

The chart listed 10 office managers who worked in the technology sector with Rogers and the “effective” dates of their salaries between 2000 and 2006, the court said.

At the time Rogers became an officer manager in December 2004, the chart showed, at least three comparators—two white and one Hispanic—received higher salaries than Rogers, it said. The chart also revealed that one black office manager was paid more than Rogers.

Less Frequent Salary Review for Plaintiff

Additionally, the chart showed that some white office managers received raises every 12 to 15 months. In comparison, Rogers demonstrated that her salary was reviewed every 18 months.

Apart from the chart, BNY Mellon presented no further evidence that the office managers who “received higher salaries or received salary increases more often had credentials that were better or experience greater than plaintiff's,” the court said.

Assuming that these managers were similarly situated to Rogers, which BNY Mellon did in seeking summary judgment, the court said a jury must settle factual disputes as to whether Rogers' “lower salary and longer salary cycle reviews were the result of racial discrimination.”

The court dismissed other claims brought by Rogers, including hostile work environment, promotion discrimination and retaliation claims.

Gregory S. Antollino of Grey Antollino in New York; Linda M. Cronin, Dominick P. Revellino and Rocco G. Avallone of Cronin & Byczek in Lake Success, N.Y.; and Stewart L. Karlin of New York represented Rogers. Christine B. Cesare, Howard M. Rogatnick and Martha E. Joerger of Bryan Cave in New York represented BNY Mellon.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jay-Anne B. Casuga in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at

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