The EEOC has filed three lawsuits alleging gender-based pay discrimination in the D.C. metro area. The defendants were George Washington (GW) University, National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and Vadar Ventures, Inc. who acted on behalf of Total Quality Building Services. The suits were filed after pre-litigation settlements failed in all three cases. The GW and NAEYC cases were filed in the U.S. District Court of Washington. The Total Quality case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria Division). The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory, punitive, and liquidated damages, in addition to injunctive relief to discontinue the discriminatory practices.
On September 15, in Philadelphia, PA, a group known as The Women’s Law Project, along with a host of other groups, urged a Pennsylvania Federal court not to block a recent law which bars employers from asking applicants about their pay history. The coalition, with the belief the ordinance would address the gender wage gap without hurting any businesses, filed an amicus brief supporting the city’s opposition to a bid from the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia for a preliminary injunction to bar the law from taking place.
On August 31, 2017, a federal judge in Texas annulled the Obama administration’s controversial rule on expanding overtime practices to millions of “white collar” workers. The rule would have raised the minimum threshold requirements to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” exemption to just over $47,000 per year and increase the overtime threshold for highly compensated workers from $100,000 per year to about $134,000 per year. Judge Amos Mazzant granted the summary judgment to the Plano Chamber of Commerce and other business groups that challenged the 2016 ruling. When the regulation was first announced, Texas, Nevada, and 19 other states also filed a suit challenging the rule. Their case was consolidated into the lawsuit filed by the business groups.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a suit against CSX Transportation stating the company has created discriminatory barriers for women seeking jobs with the company. Since 2008, CSX Transportation has used an isokinetic strength test known as the IPCS Biodex as a requirement for workers to be selected for various positions. This test measures the upper and lower body muscle strength of workers. The EEOC has found that women have passed this test at a lower rate than their male counterparts and alleges a discriminatory impact on females that were seeking positions such as Conductors, Material Handlers/Clerks, as well as various other positions.
In an effort to address pay inequalities, several states and localities have taken recent steps to bridge this gap by amending or updating their pay equity laws. One measure that is trending amongst state and local governments is the proposed legislation that prohibits employers from requesting salary histories from job applicants. In the past year or so, Massachusetts, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, New York City, Delaware, and most recently San Francisco, have all passed laws that prohibit or limit organizations from requesting salary history from an applicant and/or using the applicant’s prior salary history to determine their starting pay. Let’s take a quick look at the specifics for a few these states and cities that have recently passed this type of legislation.
Janet Dhillon has been nominated by President Trump as the next Chair and Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the White House announced late on Wednesday. Dhillion is the general counsel for Burlington Stores, and began her career working with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, LLP. If confirmed, Dhillon would serve a term ending July 1, 2022.
The trial between Google, Inc. and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) began Friday, April 7. The trial follows Google’s refusal to comply with an affirmative action compliance evaluation, when back in June 2016 the company did not provide additional documentation requested by the Department of Labor (DOL). This request, for 2014 compensation data, came after Google supplied an initial request for data for its Mountain View, California headquarters as of September 2015. In a statement made in court on Friday, the DOL Regional Director for the Pacific Region, Janette Wipper, stated the DOL found systematic pay disparities impacting women employees at Google. Google disputes the allegation.
The White House recently rolled out a new online tool (www.worker.gov) that allows employees to file various types of complaints against their employer. This site also was designed to inform individuals of their employment rights. According to the White House, the website was created to assist individuals “who have had wages stolen, have been injured on the job, faced discrimination, or were retaliated against for seeking better wages or work condition,” file complaints against their employers.
The Department of Labor has issued final regulations implementing Executive Order 13706, which will require federal contractors and subcontractors to provide up to 56 hours (7 days) of paid sick leave annually to its employees. The rule will apply to all solicitations of new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the federal government beginning on or after January 1, 2017.