AAUW Lauds Supreme Court Move in Salary History Case
WASHINGTON — On July 2, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the Ninth Circuit Court decision that prohibited employers from relying on a person’s salary history to justify pay disparities. As such the Ninth Circuit’s February opinion stands; it holds that using prior salary alone, as a “factor other than sex,” or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential between employees. Only job-related factors may serve as affirmative defenses to Equal Pay Act claims.
In response to this development, for the American Association of University Women (AAUW), issued this statement:
“AAUW is encouraged that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to a Ninth Circuit Court decision that prohibited reliance on employee’s salary history to justify pay disparities. We are honored to have worked with Aileen Rizo, who challenged the practice under the federal Equal Pay Act, and proud to have helped establish important precedent that brings us a step closer to gender pay equity. It’s outrageous that a woman’s prior pay could play a role in determining her salary in a new job. That’s simply a way of carrying past inequities forward and perpetuating a cycle of inequity. We are thrilled that those living within the Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction no longer have to contend with this insidious practice, and celebrate the 18 states, Puerto Rico, and numerous localities that have also passed similar bans. We look forward to continuing the work of ensuring no one is subject to discriminatory pay.”
Kate Nielson, AAUW Director of State Policy and Legal Advocacy