The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is not letting up on pay equity enforcement, as recent activity demonstrates.
Two new gender-based discrimination lawsuits were filed by the federal agency in Maryland last month. In one of the cases, EEOC v Davis & Davis Enterprise, Inc., the federal agency alleges that a security guard firm pays a higher flat rate to male security guards over female security guards, despite similar work being undertaken by male and female employees.
In another case, EEOC v. Asset Strategies International, Inc., the federal agency asserts former Assistant Client Relations Representative Teri Lee was being paid more than $10,000 less than her recently hired male counterparts. According to an article by Fisher Phillips, “Lee trained both representatives, neither had prior experience selling the assets sold by Asset Strategies, and Lee’s position required greater skill, effort, and responsibility.” Yet, the company paid them $45,000 and $55,000 while Lee was only making $43,000.
In both instances, the EEOC asserts that the Maryland companies are in violation of the Equal Pay Act. EEOC enforcement activity doesn’t end with these two cases, either.
The EEOC in late July also filed a case against the University of Miami for paying a female professor less than her male counterpart. The EEOC states the university is in violation of federal law. Both professors underwent similar performance reviews by university staff and received promotions to be full-time political science professors, yet the male professor was awarded with more compensation.
Enforcement activity is not just stepping up at the federal level.
More than 18 states and 16 localities have passed legislation prohibiting salary history bans inquiries. Several states such as New Jersey, Colorado, California, and Massachusetts are taking pay equity a step further by enacting their own equal pay laws.
Employers are encouraged to review the laws that govern the communities in which they operate.
Now is also a good time for employers to consider undergoing a pay equity audit to get ahead of the pay equity movement and avoid the possibility of federal and states fines, litigation, and negative PR.