Pay Equity Advisor Blog

A source of insights, news and strategy on pay equity matters

Joining New York City, Albany County, and Westchester County, Suffolk County has become the latest jurisdiction in New York to pass a bill that prevents employers from inquiring into the salary and benefits history of job applicants. Designed to establish pay equality and to “break the cycle of wage discrimination,” the Restricting Information on Salaries and Earnings Act, or RISE Act, would prohibit any employer in Suffolk County from requesting or seeking the wage history…
A free service to help provide legal advice to female low-income earners on pay equity matters is now available in the United Kingdom. The Equal Pay Advice Service, or “EPAS,” went into operation on November 9, 2018, in time for the UK’s Equal Pay Day (the day in the year when women in the UK effectively begin to work for free) and the announcement of the UK’s pay equity legislation. The United Kingdom, in…
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…
Fair pay initiatives continue to sweep the globe. Canada is the latest to consider legislation. On October 29, 2018, the Government of Canada announced the introduction of an “Act to Establish a Proactive Pay Equity Regime within the Federal Public and Private Sectors (Pay Equity Act).” The Act would address a number of legislative findings on gender pay equity in Canada, including the following: In 2017, women working full-time for hourly wages made 88.5 cents…
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…
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%…
Oregon’s state government, ahead of the January 1, 2019, effective date of the state Equal Pay Act (EPA), is conducting an expansive, behind-the-scenes pay equity analysis of its departments to identify and remedy any potential pay disparities between male and female employees. Under Oregon’s pay equity law, businesses are not required to conduct pay equity audits. However, the law contains a safe harbor provision providing that if an organization conducts a pay equity analysis…
Illinois is not yet on the salary history ban wagon. For the second time since 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a law that would prohibit employers from seeking salary history information from prospective employees, among other fair pay provisions. House Bill 4163 closely resembles the bill the Governor vetoed in 2017, House Bill 2462. The bill would amend Illinois’ Equal Pay Act to: Prohibit discrimination in wages among employees performing substantially similar work…
Departing from other federal appeals courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held that Equal Pay Act plaintiffs must establish that the pay differential between similarly situated employees is “historically or presently based on sex” to make out a prima facie case. In Gordon v. U.S., No. 17-1845 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 7, 2018), two female emergency room physicians employed by a Veterans Administration hospital alleged they were underpaid compared to male…