“In our view, the court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination.”
—Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled on April 9, 2018 that employers may not use salary history as a basis for paying one employee less than it pays another employee of the opposite gender for equal work. The court’s decision in Rizo v. Fresno County Office of Education applies to employers in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
In the Rizo case, the 9th Circuit held that even when combined with other employment factors, salary history cannot justify paying men and women differently for similar work. This means that if your company is in one of the states listed above and you have pay differences between male and female employees for the same or similar work, the justification for such a pay gap better not be because of previous salary history.
If you are concerned your business might be at risk based on this new court decision, schedule an assessment with a BenefitCorp Risk Management Consultant here.