Norway government ordered to pay $2M in legal fees

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, April 14, 2015

ST. PAUL — A federal judge in Minnesota has ordered the government of Norway to pay legal fees of about $2 million in a pay discrimination case.

The order follows a ruling last year that the Norwegian government violated Minnesota laws by paying a female employee $30,000 less in the country’s Minneapolis consulate than a male counterpart.

At the time, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ordered Norway to pay the employee, Ellen Ewald, $270,000 for lost wages and emotional distress. Norway must now pay the legal fees.

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The Star Tribune reports Ewald’s lead attorney, Sheila Engelmeier, said in a legal brief that her firm of eight lawyers spent about 6,500 hours on the case.

Norway has had a diplomatic presence in Minnesota since 1906. The state is home to nearly 900,000 people of Norwegian descent.