On June 1, 2017, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law the Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 (House Bill 2005). Although pay equity legislation has been proposed or passed in a number of jurisdictions throughout the country, Oregon’s new law merits special attention. The obligations it imposes on employers seeking to justify pay differentials are arguably among the strictest in the nation, but it also affords employers some key protections and potential safe harbors. Given the focus by government agencies and plaintiffs’ attorneys on pay equity in the technology sector out West, companies seeking to maintain or expand in the so-called “Silicon Forest” should pay special attention to the provisions of this new law.
We took a deep dive into the background and history of the legislation, and share some key observations about what it says—and doesn’t say—here. READ MORE
The President released his budget which includes separate proposals for various government agencies. The budget proposal for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which oversees affirmative action and non-discrimination requirements for federal contractors, includes a plan for the government to fold the agency into the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The proposal tasks OFCCP with working collaboratively to develop and implement a plan to complete the merger by September 30, 2018. The proposal touts increased efficiencies in the form of consolidated government EEO oversight and enforcement “under one roof.” Perhaps to facilitate this move to a common agency, the administration has proposed slashing OFCCP’s budget by over $17 million to $88 million for FY 2018 and reducing staff by 131 positions. This would be accomplished by closing field office locations and other cost savings measures.
The proposed merger raises many questions including: READ MORE
As schools across the country prepare for summer break, the Ninth Circuit overturned a lower court decision against the Fresno County public school district which had found that its pay practices were unlawful. Notably, the Ninth Circuit held that an employer may rely on prior salary as an affirmative defense to claims under the federal Equal Pay Act (“EPA”) if “it show[s] that the factor ‘effectuate[s] some business policy’ and that the employer ‘use[s] the factor reasonably in light of the employer’s stated purpose as well as other practices.’” READ MORE
On April 5, 2017, the New York City Council passed an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law prohibiting employers or their agents from inquiring about the salary history of an applicant. The law also restricts an employer’s ability to rely upon that salary history in determining the salary, benefits or other compensation during the hiring process “including the negotiation of a contract.” The term “salary history” is defined to include current or prior wages, benefits or other compensation, but does not include “objective measures of the applicant’s productivity such as revenue, sales or other production reports.”
There are several notable exceptions to the law. READ MORE
On January 11, 2017, the German Federal Cabinet has adopted the Equal Pay Act (Entgelttransparenzgesetz) submitted by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
As we reported, the requirements of the Equal Pay Act as now adopted have been lessened in comparison with the preliminary ministerial draft we initially reported on, in accordance with the agreement found by the coalition committee of the German government parties.
Still, the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth declared the adoption of the Equal Pay Act an important breakthrough for a fair payment of women. She announced that the individual right to information, the reporting obligation and review procedure can be expected to change corporate culture in Germany.
December 19, 2016
8:30 – 9:30 am PT
11:30 am – 12:30 pm ET
4:30 -5:30 pm GMT
The final UK Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Regulations have been published and are due to be implemented on 6 April 2017 for all companies with more than 250 employees in the U.K. April 2017 is the same month in which you have to capture your data in order to publish your pay gap information in time for the deadline of April 2018 – so the time to take action has now arrived.
In Germany, equal pay legislation is expected to come into force in summer 2017 and will provide for information rights of employees and works councils, as well as, for investigation processes and reporting obligations of employers.
This webinar focuses on the requirements of the U.K. final regulations, preparing your ‘data snapshot’ and what the requirements are for publication. We will also discuss the evolving landscape of sanctions and whether a failure to publish might lead to enforcement action from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Recent Equal pay developments in the US and throughout the EU will also be addressed.
Via Webinar – connection details provided upon registration
MCLE credit will be given for this program.
In February this year, draft gender pay gap reporting regulations were published and comments were invited. There then followed an extended period while we waited for the final regulations to be published and the (many) consultation questions to be addressed. One could speculate about the chaos caused by Brexit [in Parliament] that caused this extended waiting period, but we won’t. The main thing is that the final regulations are at last here and (subject to parliamentary approval) will come into force on April 6, 2017. READ MORE
As predictions abound regarding what a Trump presidency will mean for employers, including which laws and regulations might be amended, scaled back, or repealed all together, the issue of pay equity is likely here to stay. Over the past year, numerous states – including several with Republican governors – have enacted aggressive equal pay legislation, following California’s lead in 2015. Additionally, activist shareholder groups continue to exert pressure by filing proposals that, if passed, require companies to disclose publicly the percentage “pay gap” between male and female employees, and planned steps to address it. And while pay equity is not at the top of Trump’s political agenda, his daughter Ivanka has been an equal pay advocate, perhaps signaling that the EEOC’s final rule requiring employers with more than 100 employees to report W-2 pay data to the federal government through new EEO-1 reporting requirements may not be on the Trump chopping block. Accordingly, smart employers will stay the course on equal pay, including by following these recommendations:
On October 6, 2016, the coalition committee of the German government parties agreed on the planned Equal Pay Act (Entgeltgleichheitsgesetz). We described the first draft of the Equal Pay Act submitted by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in our blog post earlier this year.
Just less than a year ago, California adopted the Fair Pay Act (“FPA”), which took effect on January 1, 2016 and created some of the strongest equal pay protections in the nation. On September 30, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills that expand the law even further.