A federal jury today ruled for the city of Little Rock in a lawsuit by Ericka Benedicto, the city of Little Rock diversity manager, that alleged she’d suffered discrimination in pay.
Seeking $25,000, Benedicto received nothing from the jury, City Attorney Tom Carpenter reports.
The jury spent perhaps three hours in deliberations, interrupted by one question to the judge. Benedicto had requested a city-wide review of salaries. The jury asked the judge if that was something they were to consider. The judge said the jury was only to consider damages, Carpenter said.
Benedicto, who is black and who represented herself, alleged discrimination by two black supervisors, including City Manager Bruce Moore, in pay lower than that received by two other managers. City officials countered that those employees had longer work histories.
Benedicto, hired in March 2009 for $58,0000, said her pay was unfair compared with that of Susan Langley, hired in 2003, who became city clerk, and Meg Matthews, a public relations manager hired in 2009 for $62,500. A review of pay led to a recommendation that Langley’s pay match Matthews, but no raise was given then for Benedicto. She got a raise in 2013. She said she had superior qualifications because her education included a Webster University master’s degree.