Nappi Distributors Lawsuit

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Nappi Distributors and the Gender Discrimination Lawsuit: What Went Down?

Imagine working your tail off in a demanding sales role, only to discover you’re earning less than your male colleagues. That’s exactly what happened to Michele Tourangeau, a former sales rep at Nappi Distributors, one of Maine’s biggest beer and wine distributors. In 2020, Tourangeau took a stand and filed a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination.

The case became a hot topic in the industry, sparking conversations about equal pay and fair treatment in the workplace. So, what exactly happened? Let’s dive into the details.

Tourangeau’s Claims

Tourangeau argued that Nappi Distributors violated the Equal Pay Act by paying her less than male employees in similar positions. She also alleged sex and pregnancy discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Additionally, she claimed retaliation for speaking up about these issues.

The lawsuit highlighted a crucial question: are women in sales getting a fair shake? This case resonated with many, especially in a field where commission structures can sometimes be opaque.

The Verdict

The case went to trial in July 2023. After a five-day trial, a jury ruled in favor of Nappi Distributors on all counts. This means the jury didn’t find enough evidence to support Tourangeau’s claims.

Lingering Questions

While the verdict has been reached, the case raises essential questions about workplace equity. Did Tourangeau simply not have a strong enough case, or is there a deeper issue at play?


The Nappi Distributors lawsuit serves as a reminder of the ongoing fight for equal pay and treatment in the workplace. While the verdict didn’t go Tourangeau’s way, it doesn’t diminish the importance of speaking out against perceived injustices.


What is the Equal Pay Act?

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits employers from paying different wages to men and women for equal work on jobs that require the same skill, effort, and responsibility. (

What is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act?

Title VII protects employees from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), and national origin. (

What is retaliation in the workplace?

It’s illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who complain about discrimination or participate in investigations.

Can I sue my employer for unequal pay?

If you believe you’re being paid less than a colleague of the opposite sex for equal work, you may have a case. It’s best to consult with an employment lawyer.

What resources are available for employees who experience discrimination?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) offers resources and can guide you through the process of filing a complaint. (

How can I ensure fair treatment in the workplace?

Document everything, keep copies of paystubs and performance reviews, and be aware of your rights under federal and state laws.

This case is a complex one, and there’s no easy answer. However, by understanding the details and the legal framework surrounding equal pay and discrimination, we can keep the conversation going and work towards a more equitable future for all workers.


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