The 11-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court ruled that an employer illegally discriminated against plaintiff Aileen Rizo, a California math consultant, by paying her thousands of dollars less than her male counterparts due to the employer’s practice of paying employees based on previous salaries.
Under the Equal Pay Act, Employers can differentiate salaries based on “any factor other than sex.” The issue at hand is whether previous pay – which may be affected by institutionalized inequality – is a factor “other than sex.”
While the Ninth Circuit ruled that allowing such practices facilitates a cycle of inequality, the Seventh Circuit has held that previous pay is not a sex-based factor. Other courts have been split.
Read Joseph Abboud's analysis here.