Equal Pay Act Litigation – Salary History May Not Justify Wage Differential

In an Equal Pay Act opinion that is significant for employers in California, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Hawaii, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, held: “prior salary alone or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential. To hold otherwise – to allow employers to capitalize on the persistence of the wage gap and perpetuate that gap ad infinitum – would be contrary to the text and history of the Equal Pay Act, and would vitiate the very purpose for which the Act stands.” This decision came just one day before Equal Pay Day. April 10, 2018, this year’s Equal Pay Day, is the symbolic date to which an average woman working full time had to work to earn what her male counter-part earned in 2017 – an extra 99 days. Case Facts In Rizo v. Yovino, a female employee, Aileen Rizo, sued her employer, Fresno County Office of Education, when she learned that male colleagues who were hired into similar positions were placed in higher salary steps. This pay disparity was not because … Continue reading

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