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Former Natrona County health department director sues agency, alleging she was paid less than male predecessor
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Former Natrona County health department director sues agency, alleging she was paid less than male predecessor

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Kelly Weidenbach

Kelly Weidenbach, executive director of the Casper-Natrona County Health Department, pictured in 2016 at the department offices in Casper.

The former executive director of the Casper-Natrona County Health Department has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the agency paid her less than her male predecessor.

“This action arises out of defendant’s protracted and willful violation of the Equal Pay Act when it paid Dr. (Kelly) Weidenbach, a woman, a substantially lower salary than Robert Harrington, a man,” the lawsuit, filed Monday by Mills attorney Scott Olheiser, alleges.

Weidenbach left the Casper health department in November 2018 to take a job in Colorado, after spending nearly five years at the helm of the agency. In her lawsuit, she alleges she was paid less than Harrington despite Weidenbach’s qualifications that “equaled or surpassed Mr. Harrington’s.” Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Weidenbach was paid below a salary matrix established by the department. The lawsuit seeks to collect the allegedly unpaid wages.

When she was hired, Weidenbach was paid $7,000 a month, according to the lawsuit. Harrington made $10,333 per month when he left. When Weidenbach departed, she was paid a little over $9,000 every month.

The health department “violated the Equal Pay Act by paying Dr. Weidenbach less than Robert Harrington,” the lawsuit alleges. “CNCHD knew or showed reckless disregard about whether its unequal pay to Dr. Weidenbach was prohibited by the Equal Pay Act.”

A spokeswoman for the department declined to comment, directing further questions to the county attorney’s office.

County attorney Eric Nelson said he had received the complaint and was reviewing it. He declined to comment further.

A message sent to Weidenbach’s attorney was also not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

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Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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