from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia D.C. Docket No. 1:15-cv-00876-TCB
WILSON, JORDAN, and ROSENBAUM, Circuit Judges.
WILSON, Circuit Judge:
Bowen appeals the dismissal of her employment discrimination
claims against Manheim Remarketing. Bowen sued Manheim under
the Equal Pay Act and Title VII, alleging that Manheim
discriminated against her by paying her less than her male
predecessor. The district court dismissed Bowen's claims
at summary judgment. After careful consideration of the
record and the parties' briefs, we reverse and remand.
Bowen is entitled to proceed to trial on her Equal Pay Act
and Title VII sex discrimination claims.
hired Bowen as an automobile detailer, and three years later
(in late 2005), assistant general manager John Deck promoted
her to arbitration manager. Bowen replaced a male arbitration
manager. Manheim paid that male predecessor $46, 350 during
his first year as arbitration manager, but Deck and general
manager Peter Palmer set Bowen's starting salary at $32,
000. Bowen's salary did not reach $46, 350 until her
sixth year as arbitration manager.
learning about the pay disparity with her male predecessor,
Bowen sued Manheim under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. At
summary judgment, she offered in support of her claims, among
other things, (1) documents and testimony about her
performance and salary history and (2) affidavit testimony
from Manheim's human resources manager, Mikiya Peoples.
offered documents and testimony showing that, although she
was an effective arbitration manager, her salary for a few
years was below the minimum salary for arbitration managers
and it was consistently well below the midpoint salary for
arbitration managers. Manheim, for example, paid Bowen $37,
001.60 in 2007; $41, 000 in 2008; $46, 075.63 in 2010; and
$46, 075.63 in 2011. But under Manheim's compensation
guidelines the midpoint salary for an arbitration manager was
$49, 400 in 2007; $52, 900 in 2008; $55, 500 in 2010; and
$56, 500 in 2011.
affidavit, Peoples described interactions with Manheim
general managers such as Deck and Palmer and her
investigations into sex-based disparities at Manheim:
• When Bowen was promoted to arbitration manager,
Peoples approached Deck about the pay disparity between Bowen
and Bowen's male predecessor. Deck explained that the
predecessor was more experienced than Bowen. However, he also
acknowledged that the predecessor had trained Bowen for the
position and that Bowen was fully capable of performing the
• Comments from a 2007 employee survey that Peoples
conducted indicated that (1) female employees were treated
differently than male employees, (2) female employees were
denied particular positions, and (3) a "good ole'
boy" system existed at Manheim.
• The 2007 survey results prompted Peoples to conduct an
investigation into sex-based disparities at Manheim. She
gathered all of Manheim's job postings and examined who
applied and who interviewed for posted positions. Based on
that review, she concluded that Manheim was excluding women
from certain positions. Discussions with Palmer bolstered
this conclusion. While discussing a female employee's
application for an assistant general manager position, Palmer
told Peoples that he would not hire a woman as an assistant
general manager. According to Palmer, Manheim would be
"the laughing stock" of the community if it made
such a hire. Palmer also once told Peoples that he would
never allow a female to work as a mechanic.
• Following the 2007 survey, Manheim's corporate
office directed Palmer to confer with it when setting
employee compensation, but Palmer failed to follow that
• Comments from a 2009 employee survey that Peoples
conducted indicated that female employees were paid less ...