Ruling in the case of a California administrator, a federal appeals court has issued a landmark decision that prior salary—whether alone or in combination with other factors—may not justify a difference in pay between male and female workers doing the same job.
The ruling under the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 came this month in the case of Aileen Rizo, a former middle school and high school math teacher who was hired by the Fresno County, Calif., Office of Education as a math consultant.
The education office had a standard procedure of basing pay for new hires on their most recent prior salary, adding a small percentage, and placing the hire on the corresponding step of its salary schedule.
Rizo had been earning $52,000 as a math teacher in Arizona before accepting the Fresno County job at a salary of $62,133. She later learned that her male colleagues had been hired as math consultants at salaries more than $10,000 higher, though a woman was hired at $76,414.
A version of this article appeared in the April 25, 2018 edition of Education Week as Federal Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Administrator in Equal-Pay Case