A Proactive Approach

Pay equity is at the forefront of regulatory, political, shareholder, employee, and public concern. 2016 brought an unprecedented wave of new and proposed pay equity legislation and other initiatives at the federal and state level, seeking to address the pay gap. This is also a trend internationally. These initiatives will make it easier for employees and government agencies to bring pay claims against employers and may expose employers to public scrutiny as well as increased litigation risks and costs. While it remains to be seen how the Trump administration will pursue these issues at the federal level, employers should expect employees, plaintiffs’ attorneys, and state and local actors to remain focused on the pay equity issue.

Our Pay Equity Team advises employers on how these rapidly evolving pay equity initiatives affect their businesses and puts in place compliance strategies to stave off litigation. As needed, we defend employers in high stakes compensation discrimination litigation, as well as OFCCP audits and EEOC investigations.

We have developed broad and practical strategies to assist employers in reviewing their compensation systems, along with aids to help with compliance. In addition, we regularly offer in-house CLE programs to educate all levels of management about the requirements of the new laws, thereby enabling our clients to protect their business.

  • Orrick’s Pay Equity Team has significant experience in:

    • Handling over 100 pay audits for major employers in the technology, retail, and health care sectors; professional and financial services firms; and higher education and other non-profit institutions. 
    • Defending employers in systemic and class-based compensation discrimination litigation, as well as broad government investigations on pay equity.
    • Collaborating with government officials to keep our finger on the pulse of legislative developments. Advocating for sound interpretation and enforcement of new laws and regulations.
    • Advising Boards of Directors of major public companies on pay issues, including responding to the recent wave of shareholder proposals.
    • Training in-house counsel and Human Resources on pay equity, as well as ensuring effective internal implementation.
    • Working closely with leading statistical experts and labor economists to analyze compensation data. Evaluating legal vulnerabilities to help clients consider and implement appropriate remedial steps when necessary.

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