On March 27, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill would amend the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) to expand potential damage awards for equal pay claims, limit an employer’s ability to raise the “any factor other than sex” affirmative defense in wage discrimination cases, and make it unlawful for an employer to prevent employees from discussing or comparing salaries, among other changes.1 Given the political makeup of the Senate, this bill is unlikely to advance much further this legislative season. Because the issue of pay equity is gaining ground, however, the bill may be used as a campaign talking point as the next election approaches. In addition, states have been picking up the legislative slack, so similar bills could advance in local state houses.
Articles Discussing Equal Pay In The Workplace.
Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into the current year women must work, on average, to reach the same level of compensation that male workers earned in the prior year in the United States. Falling on April 2, this year, 17 days earlier than in 2005, Equal Pay Day 2019 shows movement toward pay equity.
This is the final article in our four-part series titled “Rethinking Pay Equity,” designed to provide practical guidance to help employers understand and address the many new rules, regulations, and best practices around pay equity in preparation for Equal Pay Day 2019. This article focuses on the increasing pressures on employers to publicly address pay equity and the issues to be considered in deciding whether to go public about pay. The four-part series will culminate in a complimentary webinar on April 2, Equal Pay Day, by the Co-Chairs of the Jackson Lewis Pay Equity Resource Group, Joy Chin and Stephanie Lewis.
This is the third article in our four-part series titled “Rethinking Pay Equity,” designed to provide practical guidance to help employers understand and address the many new rules, regulations, and best practices around pay equity in preparation for Equal Pay Day 2019.
This is the second article in our four-part series titled “Rethinking Pay Equity,” designed to provide practical guidance to help employers understand and address the many new rules, regulations, and best practices around pay equity in preparation for Equal Pay Day 2019.
The Jackson Lewis Pay Equity Resource Group is pleased to announce a special series to help employers prepare for Equal Pay Day. “Rethinking Pay Equity” will take a look at several of the biggest questions facing employers in the ever-evolving #equalpay landscape, including: How can prior salary information perpetuate the persistent pay gap, and how should we measure and address the impact of years-long reliance on such information in the hiring process? What data should we use when reviewing pay? Who should be compared against whom? What do we do if pay analyses reveal a problem? Should the company voluntarily make public disclosures about pay?
This is the first in our four-part series titled “Rethinking Pay Equity,” a special series of legal alerts aimed at providing practical guidance to help employers address the many new rules, regulations, and best practices around equal pay in preparation for Equal Pay Day 2019. The series will culminate with a unique, complimentary webinar on April 2, Equal Pay Day, by the Co-Chairs of the Jackson Lewis Pay Equity Resource Group.
On February 25, 2019, the United States Supreme Court vacated and remanded the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Rizo v. Yovino,1 in which it held an employer cannot justify a wage differential between men and women by relying on prior salary. The Supreme Court determined that the Ninth Circuit’s publication of the Rizo decision was contrary to established appellate precedent and judicial practice because the judge who authored the majority decision was deceased at the time the decision issued.2 Explaining that “federal judges are appointed for life, not for eternity,” the Supreme Court granted certiorari and vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision.3
Because the judge who authored the ruling died before the decision was issued, the Ninth Circuit erred in counting him as a member of the majority, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Yovino v. Rizo, No. 18-272 (Feb. 25, 2019). On this technicality, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit ruling that prior salary alone or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential between male and female employees under the Equal Pay Act.
US Supreme Court reverses controversial Ninth Circuit Equal Pay Act ruling.
A newly-released study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) states that the gender wage gap is more dismal than we thought. For every dollar earned by a man in a 15-year period, the study says, the average woman only makes 49 cents – and not 80 cents.
For years, employment lawyers on both sides have disagreed on what is required to obtain class treatment in a Title VII discrimination case. On November 30, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an opinion in Kassman v. KPMG LLP decidedly in favor of the employer, and laid out a structure for analyzing commonality in putative class actions involving manager discretion over pay and promotions.
As previously reported here, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held in September that Equal Pay Act (EPA) plaintiffs must show not only that they are receiving less pay than similarly situated male colleagues, but that the pay differential is “historically or presently based on sex.” This holding departed from the decisions of other federal courts of appeals and prompted a request for en banc review by the full court to overturn the panel decision. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and dozens of other advocacy groups have filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting the plaintiffs’ request.
The courts are making it increasingly difficult for employers to prevail on equal pay discrimination claims based on the “factor other than sex” affirmative defense. One recent example is the decision in EEOC v. Maryland Ins. Admin., 879 F.3d 114 (4th Cir. 2018), from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. There, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) on behalf of three female fraud investigators alleging pay discrimination in violation of the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. 206(d).
The Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network recently evaluated the pay gap by gender in the commercial real estate industry and published a white paper entitled “Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate” (Linked here). The white paper reports that the gender pay gap “persists and is strongest for [women] earning less than $100,000 and above $250,000.” The greatest gap was found with commercial real estate brokers, with a pay differential of 33.8% between women and men.