We are hearing a lot of buzz lately about pay equity (some call it pay equality), but regardless of the name, it is something for which companies should be concerned. Several states have added their own variations on what employers must do to ensure pay equity. Celebrities, lawmakers, politicians, and even the Pope have made statements about pay equity. So, this issue will continue to be a hot topic.
The minimum required wage for certain federal contractors and subcontractors will increase on January 1, 2018, from $10.20 to $10.35 per hour. Executive Order 13658 requires employers with certain federal contracts pay employees performing work on or associated with the contracts to be paid at least the federal minimum wage for contractors.
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.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has entered a conciliation agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) to settle allegations of hiring and compensation discrimination within their Lab Assistant positions located at their Raritan, NJ facility. OFCCP alleges the clinical laboratory operator discriminated against Female applicants during the period of January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012, and that they discriminated in their compensation practices against Asians in the same job title since at least January 1, 2012. LabCorp disagrees with OFCCP’s findings in both areas but has agreed to the terms of the conciliation agreement to resolve the dispute.
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.
Eight months after the Department of Labor sued Google over refusing to provide pay data amidst an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) audit, three female former Google employees have filed a pay equity class action lawsuit against the company.
It looks like the skepticism of employers relying on previous wage history is not limited to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The Ninth Circuit has decided to rehear a case, AILEEN RIZO v. JIM YOVINO, en banc. The case involves alleged pay discrimination against a female employee of Fresno County Office of Education (FCOE).
On Wednesday, August 23, 2017, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) filed an appeal with the Administrative Review Board (ARB), officially challenging a recent decision denying the agency access to some of the documents it sought as part of its highly-publicized review of the compensation practices at Google Inc.’s headquarters location.