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August 21 2018

Asking a Job Applicant Previous Pay May Violate the Equal Pay Act

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently enacted a law that prior pay cannot be used to justify wage differentials between employees under the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA).

There are four exceptions to the rule, however: an employer's use of a seniority system, an employer's use of a merit system, an employer's use of a quantity-based system and "any factor other than sex."

Rizo v. Yovino perfectly emphasizes the importance of the EPA. After the Fresno County Office of Education used a female employee's prior pay to explain why it paid her less than men who performed equal work, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the employer would no longer be using previous pay to justify unequal wages under "any factor other than sex."