A Palmdale charter school was sued Thursday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly violating federal law by paying a female math tutor less than a male tutor.

According to the lawsuit, The Guidance Charter School paid math tutor Deserae Rodriguez a lower hourly rate than her male co-worker — even though their jobs were interchangeable — because of her gender.

An administrator at the school, which serves kindergarten through 12th-grade students, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles federal court after the agency attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process, according to the EEOC.

The complaint seeks back pay along with liquidated damages and/or compensatory and punitive damages for Rodriguez, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent and address discrimination.

“Ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work is one of the EEOC’s strategic enforcement priorities,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the agency’s Los Angeles office. “There is no excuse for employers underpaying someone simply because of her gender.”

Added Rosa Viramontes, director of the EEOC’s Los Angeles office: “Equal pay is a top priority for the EEOC. All employees deserve to be paid equally for the same job and same work, and the EEOC will keep working hard to make sure that principle is observed throughout America.”

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