Statement: On SCOTUS’s Vacating Unanimous Equal Pay Decision
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a per curiam opinion in the case of Rizo v. Yovino, vacating the previous unanimous judgment of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and remanding the case. The following is a statement from Jessica Stender, Senior Counsel for Workplace Justice & Public Policy:
“We believe the weight of authority strongly supports the well-reasoned majority opinion of the en banc panel, and we’re confident the Ninth Circuit will once again hold that prior salary is not a valid justification, alone or in combination with other factors, for denying women equal pay under the federal Equal Pay Act. Relying on prior salary allows pay discrimination to follow workers from job to job, resulting in a lifetime of lost wages, less income for families, and higher rates of poverty.
The Supreme Court’s decision does not address the merits of the case. The fact remains that 50 years after Congress enacted the Equal Pay Act, women continue to earn less than their male counterparts in virtually every industry and occupation in this country. Research shows women earn less than men starting just one year after graduating college, even when taking into account factors like major, occupation, and hours worked. The same holds true for female graduates of business school.
As an organization committed to pay equity, who represented amici before the Ninth Circuit, we look forward to continuing to support Ms. Rizo in her fight for equal pay.”