A federal judge’s ruling (Pratt Morse Ruling 10cv1126.ruling.op) allows a gender discrimination lawsuit against East Hartford-based Pratt & Whitney to continue, on the issues of unequal pay, and retaliation.

But in the ruling dated January 23, Judge Janet Hall also granted the company’s request to throw out Deborah Morse’s claim that Pratt unfairly failed to promote her.

Morse claimed she was underpaid before a change in company policy in 2008.  She said  she and another woman at the same pay grade and title, in the same group made $46,000 and $48,000.  A man at the same grade and title in the same group made $60,000.

Pratt claims that Morse was not underpaid.  The company says it paid similarly situated men and women equally, and it cited pay figures from after the 2008 change in policy.

The 2008 policy change included a review of employee salaries, and resulted in a nearly 20 percent increase in Morse’s pay.

She said when she told two managers named Bianchi and Lemire that she believed she was under-compensated because she was female, they told her that “girls’ who had husbands with jobs did not need to make as much money as men since men were the primary earners in the family.”

According to the judge’s ruling, “Morse claims Mr. Bianchi denied her the opportunity to receive continuing education even though he approved such education for male employees. Id. According to Morse, Mr. Bianchi said he would not approve education compensation for a female employee because she would waste classes on basket weaving, knitting or cooking.

“Morse disclosed to Pratt that her supervisor, Mr. Bianchi, was her uncle by marriage.”

According to the ruling, in August 2008, Pratt fired Bianchi.



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