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2 KC area teens win $2,500 after gender discrimination complaint

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Posted at 7:48 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 20:50:35-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two Kansas City area teens who made national headlines in 2016 for a gender discrimination complaint against an area pizza company found out Thursday a judge is penalizing the company for the discrimination.

A Federal district judge ruled Thursday that PS Holding LLC, parent company of Pizza Studio, then operating in Kansas City, Kan., must implement changes to its policies and training, and report future data about pay to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which brought the lawsuit against the company on behalf of the two teens in September.

The judge’s ruling also awarded the two teens, Jansen Walcott and Jake Reed, $2,500 each, which includes $850 in back pay and $1,650 in other punitive damages.

The suit stemmed from complaints from the high school friends when they were both offered jobs with the pizza restaurant. The pair discussed their starting wages before accepting, which was when Reed told Walcott he was offered .25 more per hour. When Walcott called the company to complain, the restaurant told the pair it was no longer offering them a job.

The story gathered traction when Walcott and Reed spoke on the last night of the Democratic National Convention. 

In an interview with 41 Action News last August, Walcott said the pair thought it would be a “small little news story” around Kansas City, and never expected it to take off nationally.

In a statement previously released, the company said it had reviewed the matter and did not think it was related to gender bias, and offered an apology to the two teens.