US court: Norway guilty of violating equal pay laws

US court: Norway guilty of violating equal pay lawsA US court has ordered Norway to pay more than two million Norwegian kroner in compensation to Ellen Ewald, who was paid less than her male co-workers at the Minneapolis-based US consulate.

A court in the Twin City of St. Paul found the Norwegian government guilty of violating Minnesota’s equal pay and discrimination laws by paying Ms. Ewald 200,000 Norwegian kroner less than a male co-worker, despite the fact the pair had similar positions.

The Scandinavian country has been ordered to pay the former consulate employee 1.3 kroner in damages and a further 750,000 kroner for the emotional stress endured when her salary was not increased accordingly.

Ewald’s lawyer said after the verdict that it was positive the judge was of the opinion that, no matter how big or small, everyone must follow the law and pay “equal wages for equal work”. The lawyer added that it was possible Norwegian authorities might have to pay even more taking into account legal and lawyer fees as well as interest.

After the ruling, Ewald stated that she always thought her case would be successful. She said that she was very happy and now hoped that her situation would go some way towards helping women who were experiencing what she went through in the workplace.