Despite this being a clear violation of the federal Equal Pay Act, it is now legal for companies to pay women less than a man for the same job based off of previous salaries.
As some of you may have noticed, we are moving backwards in the world of progression, equality and equity. So naturally, a new ruling has made it legal for companies to pay women less for the same position as their male counterparts based off of a woman’s previous salary.
That makes sense right? Let discriminate against women based off of past discriminations. Seriously?
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cited a 1982 ruling in their decision on Thursday allowing businesses to use a woman’s previous salary information in determining pay as long as the employer applies the information “reasonably” and the business has a policy that justifies it.
Yes, let’s reasonably discriminate against women by encouraging businesses to make it their official policy.
According to Nylon.com, this decision overturned a 2015 ruling in a lower court where Judge Michael Seng stated that women’s previous salaries should not be used by employers to determine current salaries. The logic? A woman’s previous salary is likely to be less than a man’s in the same position because of gender bias.
According to the Associated Press, the 2015 court ruling declared “pay differences based exclusively on prior salaries were discriminatory under the federal Equal Pay Act.”
Deborah Rhode, a teacher of gender equity law at Stanford Law School stated:
“This decision is a step in the wrong direction if we’re trying to really ensure that women have work opportunities of equal pay. You can’t allow prior discriminatory salary setting to justify future ones or you perpetuate the discrimination.”
This ruling is discriminatory and only makes the fight for women’s rights that more difficult.