- The Arizona Board of Regents, the governing entity for public universities in the state, has settled with three female former deans at the University of Arizona, who allege they were significantly underpaid compared to male deans at the school, according to a story from Inside Higher Ed.
- The initial complaint brought by one of the deans, Dr. Patricia MacCorquodale, alleged that she was an exceptional performer but was underpaid by "tens of thousands of dollars" relative to her male colleagues, including younger successors.
- Inside Higher Ed and other sources report that the settlement was "mutually resolved" but did not disclose a specific dollar amount.
Others have taken proactive steps to remedy the problem. Salesforce, for example, has reported that it conducted equal pay assessments in both 2015 and in 2017, concluding that pay for both sexes needed adjusting. It spent $6 million to remedy the problems and has committed to continued monitoring. Adobe, Starbucks, Citigroup and JPMorgan have also announced their intent to eliminate pay inequities for women and people of color.
Pay equity advocates have argued that using salary history as a basis for wages simply reinforces wage gaps. For this reason, several states and localities have outlawed pay history questions. Some of the laws even prohibit employers from considering pay history to set compensation if the information is volunteered or otherwise discovered. Research has also indicated that mandatory wage reporting may help reduce gender-based pay disparities.
HR can help remedy pay inequities by reviewing pay practices, working with managers to identify disparities and conducting regular audits. Experts recommend that employers work with an attorney on their pay audits in order to ensure the information is privileged and not discoverable in the event of litigation.