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Pay Equity Matters: Mind the Gap

Posts from January 2019.

As we discussed recently, the November midterm elections have resulted in a divided Congress that is unable to pass significant employment legislation. This means we are likely to see the drive for legislative changes pursued primarily at the state or local level in 2019. And if the first few weeks of the new year are any indication, issues related to pay equity will continue to be a hot topic of discussion across the country.

More than seven years ago, female sales representatives who worked for Merck filed a class and collective action alleging discrimination in pay on the basis of their gender in violation of the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and Title VII. After years of litigation that resulted in a class and collective of 672 opt-in plaintiffs, the parties in Smith, et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc., recently reached a settlement of $6.2 million. We now wait to see if the court will approve the settlement. What do employers need to know about this proposed resolution?

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