Ninth Circuit Rules Equal Pay Act Bans Any Consideration of a Candidate’s Prior Compensation in Setting Wage Differentials 4-11-18

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ninth-circuit-rules-equal-pay-act-bans-20282/

Bruce’s Summary: The Equal Pay Act, a federal law aimed at abolishing wage disparity between men and women has been in place since 1963. Let me say that again, 1963. On April 9, 2018 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that an employer may not consider a candidate’s prior compensation when establishing prospective salary and wages.
The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women may not be paid differently for equal work. The authors review the exceptions in the act and the particular exception the court focused on being, “a differential based on any other factor other than sex.” The authors indicated that the court’s decision and new holding that a candidate’s prior compensation may not be considered as a factor under this “catchall” category.
The authors further indicate that the court’s decision, “not only bans an employer from basing wages on the candidate’s prior compensation, it stretches further in holding that, in the Ninth Circuit at least, such information cannot even be considered as one of a combination of factors in justifying wage differentials between male and female employees.”
The authors close with reminding the audience to not forget that, “the Equal Pay Act is a ‘strict liability’ law and that employers will be held liable even if they had no intention of discriminating against an employee.” “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com

Making Sure Your Company Is Not the Next Harassment Hashtag 4-5-2018

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/making-sure-your-company-is-not-the-45944/

Bruce’s Summary: With all the allegations continuing to surface along with the growth of the “#Metoo” movement it’s time to step up in a proactive manner and ensure that your harassment policies and training material are up to date. No matter where allegations occur – from work environments in the private and public sectors in Hollywood or small town America – it’s not the time to ignore and hope such allegations go away.
The author gives a good overview and some great suggestions on better ways to open up communication lines between your organization and your employees. Employees need to feel comfortable that they can raise issues in a safe and secure work environment and that they are heard. An investigation must be prompt, impartial and thorough. However, this doesn’t mean at the end of the investigation you may be reporting what either the complainant(s) or respondent(s) wants to hear. The facts of the investigation will determine the outcome.
If an allegation is raised, regardless of the length of historical time involved, remember two things, 1.) Think about how you would want to be treated if you were the one raising the allegation(s) and, 2.) Focus on the facts surrounding the allegation(s), not the person’s personal style or demeanor or their work history, etc., which will come later, if needed, in the credibility phase. “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com

Ten Ways to Prevent Sex Discrimination in the Workplace 3-19-18

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ten-ways-to-prevent-sex-discrimination-52045/

Bruce’s Summary: As has been said over and over since 1975 when the U.S. Courts recognized sexual harassment as a form of discrimination, that such discrimination was a violation of the law. It appears the only thing that changed in roughly forty-three years is that the cost to employers has continued to sky rocket in defending and/or settling such charges.
The author does a good job of providing an outline of steps (Platinum Rule) for hopefully preventing and responding to alleged discrimination or harassment in the work place. The 10 steps provide suggestions for reviewing and addressing communication processes, current policies, training techniques, equality issues and how to handle alleged complaints early in the process.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” “None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor are Calvin Associates consultants engaged to offer legal advice. If there is a need for legal advice, please contact and seek the advice of independent legal counsel.” www.calvin-associates.com