Last week, Western Sugar Cooperative in Denver agreed to pay $550,000 to settle a claim that it discriminated against its female employees.
As reported by The Associated Press, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission said that the sugar processor denied women training, promotions and year-round employment, gave them less desirable assignments than men and paid them less.
The company denied the allegations but agreed to pay the sum and do more training and outreach, the EEOC said.
The $550,000 will be paid to Western Sugar employee Lorelei Kilker, who filed the original complaint, as well as an unspecified number of other female workers.
The Western Sugar case suggests that despite years of progress, women still have a long way yet to go to achieve parity in the workplace -- especially when it comes to pay.
A report released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that women nationwide earned about 19 percent less than their male counterparts. The figures, based on 2010 data, showed men earned a weekly median income of $824, while women brought home just $669.
The BLS noted that the amounts shown in its report didn't take into account many factors that may explain differences in earnings.
The BLS found that, among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, median weekly earnings of women in full-time wage and salary positions last year ranged from $530 in Arkansas to $835 in Connecticut.
States with the highest wages for women were in the Northeast. In addition to Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey also had wages above $800 a week and Maryland was close at $798, the BLS said.
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