The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals just forced a public employer back into court to defend itself against a pay equity claim after a lower court had dismissed the lawsuit and cleared the employer from wrongdoing. In resurrecting the claim on behalf of three female employees, the appeals court created a more rigid standard of proof that will make it harder for employers to win pay equity claims and should incentivize businesses to examine their own compensation practices.
Two advocacy organizations, concerned that national pay equity action has been stalled, recently filed a lawsuit in federal court aiming to resurrect the beefed-up EEO-1 reporting requirements which would have forced employers to shed light on their compensation practices. Not satisfied with the tide of activity that is taking place at the state level, these organizations are hoping the courts will breathe new life into the federal effort to bolster consistent pay equity standards across the country. What do employers need to know about this latest development?