Employers shall not discriminate between employees on the basis of sex for equal work, on jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility, except where such payment is made pursuant to seniority, merit system, measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or differential based on any factor other than sex, according to the Equal Pay Act.
There is no clear cause of the gender pay gap, but industry experts have pointed to contributing factors such as women leaving certain industries due to inflexible work schedule or alleged discrimination, women taking unpaid breaks in their career to care for children and women being less likely to negotiate pay, raises and promotions.
The 2017 EEO-Report, due March 31, 2018, includes collection of pay data for employers with 100 or more employees must report pay data by gender breakdowns. The EEOC states that their goal is to track down pay gaps. Eliminating barriers in equal pay and focus on pay discrimination is broadening to disparate impact analysis instead of intentional discrimination.
Best practices employers should be utilizing include equal pay audits, before employees start asking and before the new EEO-Report form is due, look at discrepancies between comparable jobs, look beyond hourly rate and salary, including bonuses and benefits, do not over-rely on the market rate, review hiring practices, review the performance evaluation processes, maintain a consistent compensation system and involve outside counsel for attorney-client privilege protection.