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Published: Saturday, 12/28/2002

Heidtman Steel accused of wage discrimination

BY BLADE STAFF WRITER

Two female employees of Toledo's Heidtman Steel Products, Inc., have filed a wage-discrimination suit against the firm, alleging they were paid less than male co-workers.

The complaint, filed this week in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, seeks $250,000 and other damages for each of the women.

Mark Ridenour, a Heidtman executive to whom questions were referred, was unavailable for comment yesterday afternoon.

The suit, which has been assigned to Judge William Skow, names Heidtman, which processes steel, and a related entity, Mizar Motors, Inc.

Lisa Zautner of suburban Oregon and Michelle Woda of Toledo said in the suit that they have been dispatchers for the companies for at least a year.

They said that when they learned that they were being paid less than men doing identical work, they complained to supervisors.

The situation wasn't rectified, the women allege. Instead, they say, they received suspensions and other discipline for minor infractions such as being tardy by a few minutes. Similar conduct by male co-workers was ignored, the women allege.

Their complaint states that the pay gap didn't result from a seniority or merit system.



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