Equal Pay bias is legal

by on December 12, 2008 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

If you can show legit reasons for gaps

When you promote a woman, her new salary need not match a male employee’s – even when their duties are nearly identical.

But if the woman sues, you’ll have to show a solid business reason for not meeting Equal Pay Act Standards.

Jacqueline Block was an assistant for both the sales and marketing departments of a paint distributor. Hired in 1998 for about $23,000 per year, by 2001 she was making about $31,700.

After about three years in the trenches, Block landed a plum marketing job with a raise to about $35,000. When Block switched to marketing, another employee, Mike Dennis, took over her sales duties. That made Block’s and Dennis’s jobs almost identical: Each managed a territory and handled some administrative functions.

When Block discovered that Dennis earned $48,000 a year, she insisted on equal pay. Her boss refused and Block resigned. Next, she filed a lawsuit claiming equal pay discrimination.

A court ruled in favor of the employer. In reaching its decision, the judge noted that Dennis had three decades of industry experience compared with Block’s three years. And though their jobs were similar, his required greater technical knowledge than hers.

The employer prevailed because it showed legitimate reasons – having nothing to do with gender discrimination – for the gap.

Leave a Reply


Request a Free Demo

We'd love to show you how this industry-leading training system can help you develop your team. Please fill out this quick form or give us a call at 877-792-2172 to schedule your one-on-one demo with a Rapid Learning Specialist.