The Law at Work: Employers Can’t Use Salary History to Set Salary
Both the federal and California state Equal Pay Acts authorize employers to consider a “factor other than sex” in setting salaries. California’s law expressly prohibits employers from using prior salary “by itself” to justify a pay gap between men and women or among employees of different races and ethnicities. However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals went even further and recently ruled that the federal law, which applies only to gender-based salary gaps, bars an employer from considering salary history by itself or in combination with other factors, such as experience and seniority, in salary-setting decisions. In his the Law at Work Column in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Dan Eaton explains the ruling and what the prudent California employer should do to comply.
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