This month, the California Senate held a hearing regarding SB 1284, which would require California employers with at least 100 employees to annually report certain demographic pay data to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Notably, this bill was sponsored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, who also sponsored California’s Fair Pay Act (FPA) (on which we previously reported here, here, here, and here). It was also introduced just a few short months after the Office of Management and Budget’s memo mandating a review and immediate stay of similar reporting requirements at the federal level for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)’s revised EEO-1 form. The California Senate Judiciary Committee has explained that SB 1284 is “modeled closely” on the revised EEO-1 form. As a result, it suffers from similar flaws. READ MORE
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is poised to sign into law the Act Concerning Pay Equity bill, which has been passed by both the Connecticut House and Senate General Assembly. In what Governor Malloy referred to as “commonsense legislation” to address pay equity concerns, the Connecticut bill would prohibit an employer, or a third party acting on the employer’s behalf (like a recruiting firm), from inquiring about a prospective employee’s wage and salary history unless voluntarily disclosed by the applicant. The bill does permit an employer to inquire about other components that contributed to the applicant’s previous total compensation package, but not about the value of those items. Although no examples are provided in the legislation, it would seemingly be permissible to ask whether a prospective employee received stock options at their previous employment, but not the value of those options. READ MORE
After years of failed attempts at equal pay legislation, New Jersey has now passed a historic equal pay law. Notably, the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (“Equal Pay Act”) becomes the strongest measure attempting to close the gender pay gap in the country. READ MORE
1. Mandatory reporting under the methodology required by the government indicates some large pay gaps. What does that mean?
As of 17 April 2018, 10,364 employers had published their gender pay gap figures. What have we learnt? That almost eight out of ten employers are paying men, on average, more than women?
Well … yes – sort of, but that’s not the full picture. Remember, gender pay reporting is an entirely different calculation to that of equal pay (and pay equity in the U.S.) – you cannot conclude that an average gender pay gap of 59 percent means that a female employee earns 41p for every £1 her male colleague earns. A more accurate, but admittedly less provocative, title for reporting would be the ‘gender opportunity gap’ or, as energy company Shell coins it, the ‘talent gap’. READ MORE
Last year, we covered a Ninth Circuit panel decision which concluded that an employer may rely on prior salary information 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.’” An en banc Ninth Circuit has now reversed the panel’s prior opinion. READ MORE
On March 21, 2018, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law amendments to Washington State’s Equal Pay Act, which had not been updated since 1943. According to the text of the new law, it seeks “to address income disparities, employer discrimination, and retaliation practices, as well as to reflect the equal status of all workers in the State.” The amendments constitute a significant overhaul to Washington’s equal pay law, and reflect continued momentum among states to provide statutory protections beyond the federal standard. READ MORE
Effective February 27, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which is charged with ensuring federal contractors and subcontractors provide equal employment opportunity, issued Directive 2018-01, announcing that predetermination notices (PDNs) will be sent to federal contractors and subcontractors for all audits and compliance reviews where a finding of unlawful employment discrimination is imminent. READ MORE
Since January 6, 2018, employees in Germany may bring a claim to information on their peers’ salary under the Pay Transparency Act (Entgelttransparenzgesetz – EntgTranspG). Learn how to react when you receive the first information claim. READ MORE
On January 1, 2018, Iceland’s amended Equal Pay Standard took effect, the latest in a serious of measures seeking to address the persistence of national gender wage gaps. The law requires employers with 25 or more employees to obtain a government certification every three years verifying a company’s compliance with equal pay requirements. Failure to attain certification exposes employers to liability of up to nearly $500 in penalties per day. Employers with an observed pay differential can comply by raising the salaries of employees to eliminate the differential. READ MORE
There is a trend of regulations being put into place prohibiting prospective employers from asking questions about an applicant’s recent or current compensation. “What’s your salary?” has become a no-no in job interviews in several states (including Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Delaware and Oregon). New York City passed legislation in April 2017. California’s Governor just signed a new law making prior salaries a thing of the past. San Francisco has become the latest city to prohibit employers from asking job applicants to disclose their salary history effective July 1, 2018. READ MORE