Employers Can Pay Women Less Than Men Based on Past Salaries, Court Rules - Chicago Tribune
Employers can legally pay women less than men for the same work based on differences in the workers’ previous salaries, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.
The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower-court ruling that said pay differences based exclusively on prior salaries were discriminatory under the federal Equal Pay Act.
That’s because women’s earlier salaries are likely to be lower than men’s because of gender bias, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Seng said in a 2015 decision.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit cited a 1982 ruling by the court that said employers could use previous salary information as long as they applied it reasonably and had a business policy that justified it.