Legitimate Pay Practices Crucial for Employers

December 01, 2022 | From HRCalifornia Extra

by Matthew J. Roberts; J.D.; Labor Law Helpline Manager, Employment Law Counsel/Subject Matter Expert, CalChamber

As we exit the pandemic, employer pay practices continue to see significant exposure, some employers are still struggling to fill open job vacancies, and the California Legislature is honing laws related to pay and reporting. Over the past couple of years, employers have taken a variety of steps to attract quality applicants, including offering substantial hourly or salary increases for their open positions — but these changes in compensation affect not only their existing workforce, but also compliance with California’s Equal Pay Act (alternatively known in California as the Fair Pay Act).

In a partially published opinion, the California Court of Appeal found that a female employee who earned less than one male employee in the same position — even though she earned more than six other male employees doing the same work — could bring her Equal Pay Act (EPA) claim to trial, highlighting the challenges an employer faces when its pay practices are scrutinized between employees of different demographics in the same position (Allen v. Staples, Inc., 84 Cal.App.5th 188 (October 18, 2022)).

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