Do You Offer Equal Paternity Leave?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that Estée Lauder, the beauty product manufacturer, has entered a settlement agreement in the amount of $1.1mm to settle a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of 210 male employees who allege that Estée Lauder discriminated against them on the basis of their gender.  The allegations included that Estée Lauder provided “new fathers less paid leave for bonding with a newborn, or with a newly adopted or fostered child, than it provided new mothers. The parental leave policy at issue was separate from medical leave received by mothers for childbirth and related issues. The EEOC also alleged that the company unlawfully denied new fathers return-to-work benefits provided to new mothers, such as temporary modified work schedules, to ease the transition to work after the arrival of a new child and exhaustion of paid parental leave.” The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania last August alleging unlawful sex discrimination in violation of the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The U.S District Court entered a consent decree July 17, 2018 awarding the male members of the class action...

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Massachusetts Passes the Pay Equity Act

This past week the Massachusetts State Legislature unanimously passed, and Governor Baker signed into law the Pay Equity Act, making Massachusetts the first state in the nation to have legislation that prohibits employers from asking candidates about their salary history at their current or prior jobs.  Instead, the hiring manager needs to offer the candidate a wage based upon the value of the work being performed rather than being based on the candidate’s current earnings. The new law, which takes effect on August 1, 2017, seeks to strengthen protections provided under federal equal pay laws.  The provisions of the Massachusetts law are that employers may not discriminate on the basis of gender as it relates to wages for “comparable work.”  The law also prohibits employers from restricting employee’s right to discuss wages with co-workers.  This provision echoes other federal laws that protect some employees when discussing wages.  The intent is that wage transparency will help reduce pay disparities amongst those in similar jobs. The Massachusetts law encourages employers to perform wage analyses for positions within their organizations.  Further, if disparities are found, employers may be able to mitigate potential damages by showing that the assessment was performed and that they...

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