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Pay Equity Matters: Mind the Gap

Posts from January 2021.

A federal court in Maryland recently found that Baltimore City’s Enoch Pratt Free Library, the City’s public library system, violated federal pay equity law and is thus liable for more than $190,000 in backpay and liquidated damages. In United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Enoch Pratt Free Library, et al., the court concluded that the Library and two related defendants violated the Equal Pay Act (EPA) when it paid five female librarians less than a male librarian. The court’s December 23 decision found that the female librarians performed the same core duties as their male colleague, and rejected the defendants’ arguments that the library branches where the female librarians worked accounted for differences in duties sufficient to warrant paying the female employees less. The court further found that the Library failed to follow internal Human Resources guidance instructing city agencies to avoid “internal equity issues” when setting salaries for any new employees within a position’s salary range.  What can employers across the country learn from this case?

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