Golden Gate University Law Review


Corey Timpson


Still prevalent in today’s society is a vast inequality between men and women, such that men are oftentimes treated better than women in the same contexts. One realm of society where this inequality is evidenced is through the disparities in pay rates. On average, for each dollar a man earns, a woman earns only 80.5 cents. Despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act (“EPA”), the nearly 20% gap remains. The purpose of the EPA was to bridge the pay gap among men and women working similar jobs at the same workplace. Under the EPA, an employer cannot pay men and women differently for the same or similar jobs unless the pay disparity is based on: “(i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex.” In a recent opinion issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“Ninth Circuit”), an en banc panel provided some clarity to the last of these systems allowing for a pay difference. In Rizo v. Yovino, the en banc panel affirmed a district court’s denial of defendant’s summary judgment motion, holding that employers shall not consider prior salary as a factor other than sex to support a pay gap between men and women.