Despite all that is going on in the world, the California legislature has been busy this year. Below is a summary of the major employment law bills that are working their way through the state Assembly and Senate.
On September 1, 2020, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations will begin enforcing a previously-enjoined provision of the city’s Wage Equity Ordinance, which addresses the disparity in the pay of women and minorities.
In May 2020, the United Kingdom welcomed the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act 1970, which was enacted to ensure the equal treatment of men and women in terms of pay and the conditions of employment. However, in recent months, research has revealed that women have suffered a larger fall in earnings in the United Kingdom and are losing their jobs in greater numbers than men during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has certainly not slowed down legislators in Annapolis. Far from sitting idle, the Maryland General Assembly recently passed a broad array of workplace legislation without the governor’s signature. In addition to a significant expansion of Maryland’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, three new employment laws are set to take effect on October 1, 2020.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced a pair of major changes to the EEO-1 filing process. The most recent was on May 7, 2020, when the EEOC announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was filing a notice in the Federal Register delaying collection of the 2019 EEO-1 report this year and requesting approval to collect both 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 data beginning in the first quarter of 2021.
On February 27, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Rizo v. Yovino, (again) found that salary history is not a “factor other than sex” that can justify a pay disparity in defense of a claim under the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA). The Ninth Circuit made the same finding in 2018, but the Supreme Court of the United States remanded the case because the judge who authored the original opinion died before it was published.
On February 6, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated U.S. District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg’s prior order partially blocking the City of Philadelphia’s pay equity ordinance from going into effect.
As we previously reported this past summer, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed Senate Bill 6549, which amended Section 194 of the New York Labor Law to prohibit wage differentials based on any protected class. As we also reported, the State Senate and Assembly also passed an omnibus bill that overhauled New York’s antidiscrimination laws. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed these bills into law on July 10 and August 12, 2019, respectively. As a result, several new laws are slated to take effect in October 2019.
Alabama became the 49th state to adopt equal pay legislation when Governor Kay Ivey signed the Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act (CFEPA) on June 11, 2019. The CFEPA, effective September 1, 2019, prohibits an employer from paying an employee less than another employee of a different race or sex for equal work.
Currently, certain employers are required under federal law to file annual Employer Information Reports (EEO-1) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These EEO-1s must contain data regarding demographics of the employer’s workforce. Accordingly, employers covered by federal EEO-1 reporting requirements were required to file EEO-1 Component 1 data from 2018 by May 31, 2019, and must still submit Component 2 EEO-1 (pay and hours worked) data for their workforces by September 30, 2019. Not to be outdone, the State of California is poised to impose a similar requirement on employers.
As we previously reported, the Illinois legislature passed House Bill 834 and Governor J. B. Pritzker signed the bill into law. It will become effective September 29, 2019. The new law prohibits employers from requesting or requiring prospective employees to provide their salary histories as a condition of being considered for employment.
As we previously reported, the New York State Senate and Assembly recently passed Senate Bill 5248A and Senate Bill 6549. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed both bills, and both became law on July 10, 2019.
Continuing the trend of substantial and expansive legislative changes in employment law, the New York State Senate and Assembly have passed Senate Bill 5248A and Senate Bill 6549. The first bill, S5248A, will prohibit wage differentials based on any protected class and will take effect 90 days after being signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The second, S6549, will prohibit private sector employers from asking for wage or salary history as a requirement for a job interview, job application, job offer, or promotion and will take effect 180 days after being signed by Governor Cuomo. The governor is expected to sign the bills into law.
On June 26, 2019, the Toledo City Council approved Ordinance 173-19, titled “Pay Equity Act to Prohibit the Inquiry and Use of Salary History in Hiring Practices in the City of Toledo.” The law prohibits employers from inquiring about or using an applicant’s salary history to screen job applicants, in deciding whether to offer employment, or in determining salary, benefits, or other compensation during the hiring process. The Toledo pay equity act also bans employers from refusing to hire or otherwise retaliating against a job applicant for failing to disclose his or her salary history.
After ending 2018 with a slew of new employment laws, Illinois continues to enact legislation impacting employers. Following the example set by California, Washington, and other states recently, the Illinois legislature passed four new bills targeting equity, transparency, and discrimination last week, and Governor J. B. Pritzker is expected to sign them into law.
On June 11, 2019, Governor Kay Ivey signed Alabama House Bill 225, making Alabama the 49th state to adopt equal pay legislation. The act prohibits an employer from paying an employee a lower wage rate than an employee of another race or sex for equal work in the same establishment, where job performance requires “equal skill, effort, education, experience, and responsibility” and occurs “under similar working conditions.”
Federal law already prohibits employers from paying an employee less than employees of another sex for equal work, unless the employer bases the wage difference on statutorily defined factors. Alabama and Mississippi were the only two states without corresponding state-specific laws until Representative Adline Clarke, D-Mobile, introduced Alabama House Bill 225 on March 19, 2019.
On May 22, 2019, Colorado governor Jared Polis signed sweeping equal pay legislation into law after nearly 40 years of failed attempts by the Colorado government to pass a pay equity law. The recently signed Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act is one of many transformative legislative changes the state government has put in place since the November 2018 election, which resulted in Democrats holding trifecta control in the Colorado state government for the first time in years.
On May 9, 2019, Washington State governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1696, “an act relating to wage and salary information.” The new law is similar to legislation being promulgated throughout the country, including by Washington’s neighbor to the south, Oregon. This law will become effective on July 28, 2019.
As we previously reported, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Tanya S. Chutkan ordered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to collect two years of EEO-1 Component 2 pay data including 2018 and pay data from either 2017 or 2019.
On April 29, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a notice that the EEO-1 pay data collection is being reinstated immediately. According to the EEOC’s website, employers covered by EEO-1 reporting requirements must submit 2018 Component 2 EEO-1 (pay and hours worked) data for their workforces by September 30, 2019.
On April 25, 2019, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Tanya S. Chutkan ruled that employers covered by EEO-1 reporting requirements must submit 2018 pay data for their workforces by September 30, 2019.
As a follow-up to our April 4, 2019, article, we wanted to provide you with the latest update on the status of the pay data requirement for 2018-EEO-1 reports.
Governor Janet Mills of Maine signed a pay equality bill into law on April 12, 2019, that bans employers from asking job applicants about their salary histories and broadens existing wage transparency requirements.
April 4, 2019 will mark the first anniversary of mandatory private-sector gender pay gap reporting in the United Kingdom. One year in, and organizations appear to be in the same last-minute position they were in during the first reporting year, submitting their data just before the deadline. Regardless of timing, the key question is: has the last 12 months had any impact on the issue of addressing the gender pay gap generally?
On April 3, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) submitted a memorandum to the judge in National Women’s Law Center, et al. v. Office of Management Budget, et al., who had requested that the EEOC inform the court of the agency’s plans to collect pay data in the EEO-1 report.
In a thinly veiled attempt to steal the spotlight from Cleveland, the new destination city for the National Football League, on March 13, 2019, the Cincinnati City Council passed Ordinance No. 83-2019, titled Prohibited Salary History Inquiry and Use, barring employers from inquiring about or relying on job applicants’ salary histories.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published opinion on March 18, 2019, that will undoubtedly become a pivotal Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) case in the context of higher education.