Equal Pay Act

Germany: Equal Pay Act Adopted by Federal Cabinet

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.

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Equal Pay Light? – Update on Proposed German Equal Pay Act

People Walking

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.

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Fair Enough? New Equal Pay Legislation Expands California’s Fair Pay Act

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.

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Massachusetts Signs Into Law Far Reaching Pay Equity Bill

On August 1, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a pay equity bill which the Massachusetts Legislature passed by unanimous vote on July 23, 2016. The pay equity act is one of the strongest and most unique in the nation.  Chief among the unique features is the prohibition on the use of prior salary in setting compensation and an affirmative defense for employers who conduct pay audits.  The legislation differs from the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA) and other recent state pay equity laws, including California and Maryland, in several ways.

Comparable Work Presents a Broader Standard

The EPA requires that men and women in the same workplace receive equal pay for “equal work.” “Equal work” means their jobs need not be identical, but “substantially equal.”  The newly passed Massachusetts legislation only requires “comparable work,” meaning work that is substantially similar in that it requires substantially similar skill, effort and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.  Thus, the legislation will give employees a larger pool of “comparator jobs” to point to should they feel underpaid in relation to their gender opposites.  In fact, the “comparable work” standard appears to be similar to the broader-based standard used in pay-disparity claims under Title VII, except that Title VII also requires proof of intent.  Recent Maryland and California laws also expand the pool of comparators. READ MORE

Employers Left Hanging Again: Coates v. Farmers Reaches Settlement & Still No Answers on Interpreting California’s Fair Pay Act

What many were hoping would bring clarity to California’s Fair Pay Act, further left employers in the dark on how to interpret the Act.

On April 29, 2015, Plaintiff Lynne Coates filed a class action lawsuit against Farmers alleging gender discrimination claims under Title VII and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, as well as violations of the federal and California equal pay acts and California’s Private Attorneys General Act.  Coates claimed that Farmers systematically discriminated against female attorney employees and that its “common compensation and promotion policies and practices resulted in lower pay and unequal promotions for female attorneys.”

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Proposed German Equal Pay Act May Complicate Remuneration Issues

Statistics reveal a difference of 7 percent between the remuneration paid to men and that paid to women with the same qualifications in Germany. The average hourly wage even shows a difference of 22 percent, making pay discrepancy in Germany one of the highest in the EU. In order to adjust these wage injustices, the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth submitted a first preliminary ministerial draft of the German Equal Pay Act (Entgeltgleichheitsgesetz) on December 9, 2015. The act is expected to be adopted in 2016.

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Equal Pay Day 2016:  Where Are We 20 Years Later?

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of “Equal Pay Day,” which the National Committee on Pay Equity launched as a public awareness event in 1996 to symbolize how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.  In more than 50 years since enactment of the federal Equal Pay Act (“EPA”) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), women have made significant progress in the workplace and now make up roughly half of the American workforce.  However, women working full time still earn, on average, 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, and this number has barely moved in over a decade.  That said, it is still not clear that employer bias is to blame for the gap that remains.  Indeed, the pay gap measures only the difference in average earnings between all men and all women; it is not a proxy for pay bias—i.e., the failure to pay women equal pay for equal work.  Eliminating pay bias is important, but focusing heavily on perceived employer bias obscures a much more complex web of factors contributing to the problem of pay differences between men and women.

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Latest California Equal Pay Legislation Targets Race and Ethnicity

As California employers adjust to recent amendments to the state’s Equal Pay Act, additional changes are looming.  As we reported here, last year, California adopted the Fair Pay Act, which provides new pay equity provisions related to employees of the opposite sex.  Those amendments took effect on January 1, 2016.  Now, California lawmakers are setting their sights on pay disparities based on race and ethnicity.  On February 16, 2016, California Senator Isadore Hall III (D-South Bay) introduced Senate Bill 1063, known as the Wage Equality Act of 2016 (“SB 1063”), which seeks to expand pay equity requirements beyond sex to include race and ethnicity.

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Time To Pay Up? California Adopts Stronger Equal Pay Protections

With Governor Jerry Brown’s signature, California officially amended its equal pay legislation through the California Fair Pay Act (the Act) to include more employee-friendly provisions. The Act, which now creates the nation’s strongest equal pay protections, seeks to close the pay gap in California. The Act may serve as a model for legislation in other states and supporters are even hopeful the Act’s passage may finally push Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which has been introduced in Congress every year since 1994 and upon which California’s legislation was based.

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An Attorney is an Attorney is an Attorney? Not So Fast Says Second Circuit, Shutting Down EEOC Equal Pay Act Claim

The EEOC suffered another fatal blow to its systemic discrimination initiative on Monday when the Second Circuit held that the Commission’s Equal Pay Act (EPA) complaint against the New York Port Authority was too barebones to survive.

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