2021EEOCEqual Pay

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On September 7, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – an agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination to advance opportunity in the workplace – announced that multinational computer technology company Dell, Inc. would pay $75,000 and provide other relief to settle an equal pay discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC, according to a press release from the EEOC.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Dell hired a woman with 24 years of information technology (IT) experience as an IT analyst in September 2017 along with three male IT coworkers in the same department from another employer. She performed the same tasks, assignments, and work as one of her male coworkers with whom she worked at their prior employer. However, Dell paid her $17,510 less annually less than the male coworker.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) both prohibit discrimination in compensation based on sex. The EEOC filed the lawsuit claiming that Dell violated both the EPA and Title VII in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division (Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-03131) after attempting and failing to reach a pre-lawsuit settlement through the agency’s conciliation process.

The parties voluntarily agreed to settle the case, and the consent decree resolving the EEOC’s lawsuit has now been approved by the federal court. In addition to paying $75,000 in monetary relief to the woman, Dell agreed to provide specialized training on the EPA and Title VII, post a notice of employee rights under the EPA and Title VII, and report certain information regarding employee reports of discrimination to the EEOC for two years.

According to the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE), the gender wage gap has narrowed by less than one-half a penny per year in the United States since Congress passed the EPA in 1963. Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that women earned 80 percent of what men earned in 2015. As a result, laws prohibiting employers from asking about salary history have increased to narrow the gender pay gap.

As of September 2021, salary history bans exist in many American cities. In addition, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin have passed statewide bans. HRDive keeps a list of states that have salary history bans.

“When an employer has a background screening firm perform past employment verifications, it is critical that firm knows which cities, counties, and states prohibit salary history questions, or else that employer could be fined,” explained background check expert Attorney Lester Rosen, the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) and the author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual.’

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider that was ranked the #1 screening firm by HRO Today in 2020 – offers employers flexible and customizable employment verifications that provide the salary history of applicants only if permitted by equal pay laws and afford the flexibility to customize verifications through unique business rules. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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