KSB Law has experience in conducting complex Equal Pay Audits in the private and public sectors. The Firm offers services in this area to law firms, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, private and public companies, and to local, county, and state governmental entities and agencies.
With expanding equal pay laws on the rise, employers must be vigilant in ensuring that compensation disparities do not exist on the basis of sex/gender or other legally protected categories (such as race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, gender identity, and sexual orientation) and that their compensation practices do not have a disparate impact based upon legally protected categories.
Equal pay lawsuits can lead to significant exposure to an employer, especially given evolving laws that afford broader employee protections and expanded damages and penalties.
New Jersey, New York, New York City, California, and Philadelphia are among the jurisdictions with expanded Equal Pay Acts and/or Salary Inquiry Ban protections. In New Jersey, the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act and the New Jersey Salary Inquiry Ban were enacted to promote pay equity.
The Firm manages and conducts Audits for compliance with the applicable Equal Pay Act (EPA Audits) for all industries. Many EPA Audits include complex issues such as law firm compensation, civil service classifications, and union/collective bargaining status.
EPA Audits are important self-evaluation tools for employers to identify and remediate compensation disparities and to modify existing policies and practices that result in pay disparities. The Audits give employers the opportunity to correct and resolve existing issues before lawsuits are filed. They can help limit potential exposure and damages and ensure pay equity among employees.
To conduct an EPA Audit, KSB Law obtains and assesses the following data and relevant documents regarding compensation practices, which enables the Firm to identify pay disparities:
Protected Category Status
Skills, Effort, and Responsibilities
KSB Law is also able to provide Post-EPA Audit Legal Assessments or Expert Opinions. Those services can involve:
Analyzing an employer’s articulated reasons for disparities;
Assessing the affirmative defenses available to employers that might support pay disparities (such as seniority systems, merit-based systems, or other legitimate bona fide factors);
Assessing the strength of the employer’s specific affirmative defenses based on evidence and current legal standards; and/or
Reviewing wage gap areas and the impact of any steering/channeling.
To facilitate compliance with equal pay laws, KSB Law offers EPA Training and Counseling, which can be key tools for legal and compliance personnel, human resources, and organizational leaders involved in the hiring process and decisions regarding compensation and benefits.
These services can cover the following areas:
Training decision-makers on the legal implications of equal pay laws and salary history inquiry bans and the importance of remedial EPA Audits;
Providing tools for determining positions considered to be of “substantially similar” duties and comparable “skills, effort, responsibilities;”
Reviewing the affirmative defenses available to employers and the potential challenges to them; and/or
Recognizing the role of bias in wage gaps and how steering and channeling employees into certain types of work can lead to claims.
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