Women often find themselves in a workplace culture dominated by traditionally male values, approaches to work, and ways of measuring success. To be included, accepted and advanced, women in a wide variety of professions, including finance, technology, medicine, and the law, must walk a fine line between seeking acceptance and ensuring equal treatment.
In August 2016, a bipartisan Massachusetts legislature and a Republican governor unanimously enacted a new pay equity law aimed at ensuring equal compensation and benefits for male and female employees in similar positions performing similar work. In addition to a general prohibition against pay discrimination, the Act includes some innovative provisions that provide examples for other states to follow in the ongoing campaign against pay inequity.
After years of study and training to become highly educated health professionals, female doctors often find they don't earn the same as their male colleagues. Unfortunately, that's not a new revelation, but data spotlighting the pay disparity has been difficult to collect and routinely challenged as flawed by critics and defense lawyers. Until now.
Challenges for women working in tech are very real. Though the pay gap may be less in the tech industry than other sectors (the New York Times reported that women in tech earn 89 cents for every dollar earned by men - as compared with the American average of 79 cents on the dollar), women in tech are by no means better off.
Dividing 2-1 on the question, an Eighth Circuit panel holds that it can be considered an "adverse employment action" under Title VII and section 1981 for an employee to be hired at - or even above - his or her asking salary, at least when another person outside the protected group is hired for similar work but at a higher pay grade and salary.