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Pay Equity Matters: Mind the Gap

Posts by Monica Snyder

An Oregon federal court just shot down Nike Inc.’s request to dismiss a pay equity class action claim fronted by four current and former Nike executives. In her February 26 ruling, a federal magistrate judge recommended that the case should proceed, as it adequately presented allegations that the company employed systemic practices that damaged all female employees. The ruling presents a stark reminder to all employers of the dangers of pay gaps while reinforcing the need to engage in critical compensation self-audits (with your counsel’s assistance).

The first lawsuit filed under the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA)—a claim against the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO)—was settled last week pursuant to the terms of a confidential agreement between the parties.

Do a flutist and an oboist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) perform comparable work? What about an Executive Director in the Office of Language Learners and an Executive Director in the Office of Human Capital for the Boston public school system? These are the essential questions that courts in Massachusetts are currently grappling with under the new Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA), which requires businesses to pay men and women equally for “comparable work.”

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