Reliance on Salary History Not Always an Equal Pay Violation: An Interview with Melissa M. Stannard

Employment Law This Week

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Employment Law This Week (Episode 71: Week of May 8, 2017) has released bonus footage of its interview with Melissa M. Stannard, an Associate at Epstein Becker Green.

As Ms. Stannard discusses, reliance on salary history is not always an Equal Pay Act violation, per the Ninth Circuit. A California federal court had granted summary judgment to a female employee of Fresno County, ruling that an employer could not defeat an Equal Pay Act claim by pointing to prior salary alone. The court reasoned that allowing such a defense would perpetuate discriminatory wage differences. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that salary history could be relied upon if it furthers a legitimate business policy and is used reasonably. The Ninth Circuit remanded the case, directing the lower court to review Fresno County’s policy based on this standard.

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