Pay Equity Microblog

 

Pay Equity Microblog
 

UPDATE: The Trend Continues: NYC Passes Salary History Ban

By: Lisa Savadjian, Christine Hendrickson and Annette Tyman

May 5, 2017

Seyfarth Synopsis: On May 4, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the long awaited ban on employers inquiring about a prospective job applicant’s prior salary history. The law will go into effect in 180 days on October 31, 2017. 

Halloween just got a little spookier for employers.  
 
Yesterday, May 4, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the legislation that bans New York City employers from inquiring about or seeking the salary history of job applicants. See our previous alert about the proposed law here. The law will go into effect on Halloween, October 31, 2017. While the wording of section 2 of the law may suggest that the City Commission on Human Rights must issue regulations before the law can take effect, both the Mayor and the Commission issued statements indicating that the effective date will be 180 days from the Mayor’s signature. 
 
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Businesses Challenge Philadelphia Law Prohibiting Inquiry into Prospective Employee's Wage History

By: Patrick J. Bannon, Christine Hendrickson, Pamela Q. Devata, Meredith-Anne Berger and Stacey Blecher

April 25, 2017

Seyfarth Synopsis: Businesses banded together to challenge, on First Amendment and Due Process grounds, the pay equity Ordinance which would ban inquiries into prospective employees’ prior salaries.  The Ordinance, which was set to go into effect on May 23, has been stayed until the pending motion for preliminary injunction is decided.

Following Philadelphia’s passage of a pay equity Ordinance that prohibits inquiries into salary history (on which we previously reported here), businesses are challenging the Ordinance.  The law was slated to go into effect on May 23, 2017, but on April 6, 2017, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (the “Chamber”) filed a federal lawsuit seeking to enjoin the law on numerous grounds discussed below.  On April 19, 2017, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered a stipulated order that stays the effective date of the new law until resolution of the motion for preliminary injunction. .  

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Pay Equity: New San Francisco Legislation Would Ban Employers From Seeking Salary History

By: Chantelle Egan and Pamela Vartabedian
April 19, 2017

Seyfarth Synopsis: San Francisco may be the next jurisdiction to prohibit employers from asking job applicants about wage history. 

San Francisco appears to be jumping on the bandwagon of its East Coast brethren by banning employers from considering the wage history of job applicants. On the heels of the passage of a similar salary ban in New York City and a new California state law prohibiting employers from relying on prior salary alone to justify differences in pay, San Francisco is considering removing prior salary information from the job application process entirely.  

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Equal Pay Day 2017: Introducing Seyfarth's 50-State Pay Equity Desktop Reference

By: Chrisitne Hendrickson, Annette Tyman, Hillary Massey and Monica Rodriguez
April 4, 2017

Seyfarth Synopsis: Today, April 4th, is Equal Pay Day. In commemoration, Seyfarth's Pay Equity Group is introducing a 50-State Pay Equity Desktop Reference.

Pay Equity may be on the minds and lips of your employees today, as today is Equal Pay Day.

Equal Pay Day originated more than 20 years ago as a public awareness event to symbolize how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.  While we’ve previously examined the basis of the statistic that underlies the event, there is no doubt that pay equity has become a high priority for employers, as administrative agencies and a patchwork of states have aggressively moved to address pay equity and enforcement.  What used to be a sleepy, little-discussed event has now become major news.

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Money Talks: NY DOL Adopts Regulations on Employee Discussion of Wages

By: Robert S. Whitman and Samuel Sverdlov
February 23, 2017

Seyfarth Synopsis: New regulations from the NY Department of Labor clarify employers’ ability to limit employees’ discussion of wages.

The New York Department of Labor has promulgated regulations that permit employers to place “reasonable” limitations on employees’ discussion of their wages. The regulations, issued February 1, 2017, provide that such limitations are permissible if they are contained in a written policy and are “justified without reference to the content of the regulated speech, narrowly tailored to serve a significant interest, and leave open ample alternative channels for the communication of information.” 

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EEOC’s Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic Comments on Equal Pay Laws and the Modified EEO-1 Report

By: Annette Tyman, Christine Hendrickson and Anne Dana
February 14, 2017

Employers across the county have been closely monitoring the legal landscape for signs of the changes that the business community is expecting from President Trump’s administration.  We have previously provided insights as to potential changes here and here.  One of the most talked about areas is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s enforcement of equal pay laws and the modified annual Employer Information Report (EEO-1).  On February 9th, Seyfarth Shaw had the pleasure of hosting EEOC Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic, who spoke to a packed room, along with Seyfarth’s own Jerry Maatman who debuted the 13th Annual Workplace Class Action Report

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UK Gender Pay Gap Reporting - The Last Chance Saloon

By: Peter Talibart and Paul Whinder

February 8, 2017

The final version of the draft Gender Pay Gap Regulations have now been published and are expected to come into force on 6 April 2017. The latest version of the Regulations set out a number of changes from the previous version which we reported on in our December alert. We have highlighted the key differences below, and recapped the new rules. The date on which pay information is taken has now been brought forward from 30 April to 5 April, so UK employers now have just a few weeks to review their data and make any changes.

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Pay Equity Joins the Big Game: Commercial Tackles Pay Equity at the Super Bowl

By: Christine Hendrickson, Annette Tyman, Chantelle Egan and Pamela Vartabedian
February 7, 2017

Pay equity is officially prime time. For some, the Super Bowl is a long-awaited football championship game. But, for others, the Super Bowl is all about the commercials. For a price tag of upwards of $5 million dollars, advertisers are afforded global access to well over 100 million viewers, and commercials on football’s biggest day are often cultural markers of the relevant social issues of the time. This year, Audi’s Super Bowl advertisement, which ends by blazing across the screen the statement “Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work. Progress is for everyone,” adds pay equity to the list of social issues cemented in Super Bowl commercial famedom.
 
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New Jersey Fails to Override Veto on Salary History Inquiry Ban, and Proposes Two New Pay Equity Bills, With Another Pending in the Senate

By: Annette Tyman, Christine Hendrickson and Meredith-Anne Berger
January 27, 2017

As uncertainty looms at the federal level as to the approach the Trump Administration will take with respect to pay equity, the focus on pay equity continues at the state level. 
 
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UPDATE: Philadelphia Enacts Law Prohibiting Inquiry Into a Prospective Employee's Wage History

By: Pamela Q. Devata, Robert T. Szyba, Stacey L. Blecher & Christine Hendrickson
January 27, 2017

The Philadelphia City Council recently passed Bill No. 160840, amending Title 9 of The Philadelphia Code by adding wageequity measures to Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance, which was initially passed in 2011 to prohibit employers from inquiring as to non-conviction arrests and has since been expanded to include ban the box restrictions and mandatory poster requirements (see our prior coverage here and here). The amended Ordinance prohibits employers (and employment agencies) from inquiring about a prospective employee’s wage history. Retaliation against a prospective employee for refusing to respond to such an inquiry is also prohibited, as long as no federal, state, or local law specifically authorizes the disclosure of wage history in connection with employment.
 
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Mississippi Reps Propose Pay Equity Law

By: David Wadsworth
January 27, 2017

Continuing the recent trend in equal pay legislation, four representatives of the Mississippi Legislature introduced House Bill No. 9 earlier this month. Known as the “Evelyn Gandy Fair Pay Act” (named after the first woman to be elected as Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi), the bill seeks to “prohibit wage discrimination against women.”  
 
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Pay Equity Extends to Race, Ethnicity, Without Banning Salary Inquiries

By: Kristina M. Launey & Marjorie Soto
October 27, 2016

Recent state pay equity initiatives (in MassachusettsNew JerseyNew York) have focused on gender. California is different. Leave it to the state that last year passed the nation’s strictest pay equity law as to gender to take it up another notch.  SB 1063, dubbed the “Wage Equality Act of 2016,” extends last year’s Fair Pay Act amendments to Labor Code section 1197.5 to cover unequal pay as to race and ethnicity. Thus, effective January 1, 2017, California employers must not pay employees a wage rate less than the rate paid to employees of a different race or ethnicity for substantially similar work. (Read our prior alert for a description of the Act’s requirements and prohibitions.) Meanwhile, newly enacted AB 1676 will prohibit employers from using an employee’s prior salary as the sole basis to justify a pay disparity. In the process, however, California has declined to follow the Massachusetts example of forbidding employer inquiries into an applicant’s prior salary.
 
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White House Announces Equal Pay Pledge for Private Employers as Part of Its United State of Women Summit

By: Annette Tyman and Meredith Bailey
June 15, 2016

The White House announced a new Equal Pay Pledge for private sector companies as part of yesterday’s “United State of Women Summit” in Washington, D.C.  The Pledge is one of several initiatives announced at the Summit intended to tackle “gender-based discrimination” in the workplace.
 
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Maryland Passes One of Nation’s Most Expansive Equal Pay Laws

By: Annette Tyman, Katherine Mendez, and Christopher W. Kelleher
May 24, 2016

Maryland has joined states such as California and New York by passing one of the country’s most aggressive equal pay laws. Governor Hogan signed Senate Bill 481 (cross- filed with House Bill 1003) on Thursday, May 19, 2016.  The law will go into effect in October.
 
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Governor Christie Conditionally Vetoes New Jersey’s Pay Equity Bill

By: Maria Papasevastos and Nadia Bandukda
May 5, 2016

On Monday, Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed proposed amendments to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination concerning equal pay for women in the workplace. As we reported previously, both the Assembly and Senate passed a bill that would impact New Jersey employers by making it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate on the basis of gender under a “substantially similar work” standard.  The bill also would have allowed employees to be compared even if they do not work in the same establishment, with no geographic limitation; and, unlike other recently-enacted fair pay laws in New York and California, would have permitted unlimited back pay.
 
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Pay Equity Communications (AKA: What do I say?)

By: Kristina M. Launey with Christine Hendrickson
April 14, 2016

Every time a client asks “what do I say” in response to employee inquiries about what the client’s company is doing to ensure fair pay, Justin Bieber’s song “What do you Mean” starts playing in my head as “What do I Say.” Luckily, while I am certainly not a Belieber, I find the song catchy rather than annoying, and appropriately thought-provoking.
 
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New DLSE FAQs: Unequal Guidance On Equal Pay Law

By: Jonathan L. Brophy & Monica Rodriguez
April 7, 2016

As Seyfarth has reported previously here, as of January 1, 2016, California has one of the most aggressive pay equity laws in the country. On April 6, 2016, California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement issued a “Frequently Asked Questions” on the California Equal Pay Act, as strengthened by enactment of the California Fair Pay Act of 2015.
 
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High Profile Pay Equity “Champions”: U.S. Women’s Soccer Players File EEOC Wage Discrimination Charge

By: Kristina Launey and Annette Tyman
March 31, 2016

Today five members of the reigning World Cup and Olympic champion U.S. Women’s national soccer team filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging wage discrimination.  In the EEOC charge, the players contend that even though the women’s team is the driving economic force for U.S. Soccer, its players are paid far less than their counterparts on the men’s national team.  The players filing the complaint are some of the highest profile and most decorated: co-captains Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn, forward Alex Morgan, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and goalkeeper Hope Solo, acting on behalf of the entire women’s team, saying they are all employees of U.S. Soccer through their national team contracts.
 
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New Jersey Legislature Fist Pumps for Pay Equity

By: Maria Papasevastos and Nadia Bandukda
March 17, 2016

On Monday, the New Jersey Assembly approved a pay equity bill that would amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to strengthen protections against pay discrimination in the workplace.
 
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Pay Equity Legislation: Not Just Gender Anymore

By: Kristina M. Launey
February 18, 2016

From high profile cases in Hollywood to the Silicon Valley, to high-profile legislation, gender pay equity has been top of the news in the past year.  On January 1, 2016, the California Fair Pay Act — widely publicized as the toughest (gender) pay equity law in the nation — became effective.  Other states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York) and even the EEOC have since pursued similar action, through various means.  Just as companies are struggling to get a handle on the new gender pay equity requirements, the California Legislature (not unexpectedly) is looking to expand the law further.
 
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