UPDATE: Mayor Adams signed Int. 134 into law on May 12, 2022.  It is currently effective.

On April 28, 2022, the New York City Council (the “Council”) passed Int. 134, an amendment to New York City’s Salary Transparency Law (the “Salary Transparency Law” or “STL”) that finalized a number of significant changes to its requirements.  As we previously reported, the Council has been considering Int. 134 in various forms since March 24, 2022.  The original version of Int. 134, which provided more significant protections for employers, failed to gain traction.  Following discussions with pay equity advocates and the small business community, Int. 134’s sponsors announced modifications to Int. 134 designed to represent a compromise proposal.  That version of Int. 134 passed, and will be effective immediately if signed by Mayor Eric Adams.
Continue Reading UPDATED: New York City Council Approves Amendments to Salary Transparency Law; New Date for Compliance Now November 1, Among Other Changes

On March 22, 2022, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) issued its first round of guidance regarding the salary transparency law (the “Salary Transparency Law” or “STL”) currently scheduled to take effect on May 15, 2022.  As we previously reported, the Law will amend the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) to require all New York City employers to state the minimum and maximum salary associated with an advertised internal or external “job, promotion, or transfer opportunity.”
Continue Reading New York City Issues First Round of Guidance Regarding Salary Transparency Law

On March 24, 2022, New York City Council members Nantasha M. Williams and Justin L. Brannan introduced Int. 134, a bill that would alter New York City’s impending pay transparency law.  As we previously reported, beginning on May 15, 2022, all New York City employers must state the minimum and maximum salary associated with an advertised “job, promotion, or transfer opportunity,” both internally and externally (the “NYC Pay Transparency Law” or the “Law”).  Int. 134 proposes certain alterations and clarifications to the NYC Pay Transparency Law that may affect employers’ compliance measures.
Continue Reading New York City Council Proposes Amendment to Pay Transparency Law

Employers operating, even on a limited basis, in Colorado should be aware of Colorado’s recent wage disparity and discrimination bill, which takes effect in 2021 and imposes widespread requirements related to record-keeping, disclosure, and transparency.

In May of 2019, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act into law.  The Act will go into effect on January 1, 2021.  The Act was enacted to address pay disparities affecting women and minorities, and includes several provisions aimed at preventing wage discrimination, such as:
Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know About Colorado’s New Equal Pay Act

On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (the “Act”), which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) to provide enhanced equal pay protections for New Jersey employees. The Act, which becomes effective on July 1, 2018, prohibits pay disparities based upon characteristics protected by the NJLAD, such as race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex, etc. Specifically, the Act makes it an unlawful employment practice “[f]or an employer to pay any of its employees who is a member of a protected class at a rate of compensation, including benefits, which is less than the rate paid by the employer to employees who are not members of the protected class for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility.”
Continue Reading New Jersey Equal Pay Act Signed Into Law

Enacted in 1963, the Equal Pay Act prohibits differential payments between male and female employees doing equal work except when made pursuant to a seniority system, a merit system, a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a fourth, catch-all exception for “a differential based on any other factor other than sex.” 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)(1). These exceptions are affirmative defenses which the employer must plead and prove.

In Rizo v. Yovino, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 8882, an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit considered whether an employee’s prior salary was a permissible “factor other than sex” under the Equal Pay Act. Prior Ninth Circuit precedent held that “the Equal Pay Act does not impose a strict prohibition against the use of prior salary.” Kouba v. Allstate Insurance Co., 691 F.2d 873, 878 (9th Cir. 1982). Under Kouba, employers were prohibited from using a factor which “causes a wage differential between male and female employees absent an acceptable business reason.” Id., at 876.

On April 9, 2018, a bare majority of the 11 judge en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit overruled Kouba and held that “a legitimate ‘factor other than sex’ must be job related and that prior salary cannot justify paying one gender less if equal work is performed.” Rizo v. Yovino, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 8882, at *15. Writing for the majority, the late Stephen Reinhardt announced a bright-line rule that “prior salary alone or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential.” Id., at *5-6. Five judges concurred in the result, but disagreed with the majority’s holding that prior salary can never suffice to constitute a “factor other than sex” sufficient to justify a wage differential.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Holds Prior Salary Cannot Justify Wage Differences

The 2017 California Legislature adjourned on September 15, 2017, and resulted in more than 700 bills being sent to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for approval. Although the deadline for the Governor to sign new bills into law does not officially expire until October 15, the Governor has already given his stamp of approval to a handful of new employment laws that will take effect on January 1, 2018, including one from the California Chamber of Commerce’s annual list of “Job Killers.” Below is a summary of the major bills recently signed into law.
Continue Reading 5 New Laws: California Governor Approves Employee-Friendly Laws