The New York State Department of Labor has adopted regulations clarifying employers’ rights and obligations when implementing policies that limit the discussion of wages in the workplace. Under New York Labor Law section 194(4), an employer may not prohibit employees from discussing wages, but may establish “reasonable workplace and workday limitations on the time, place and manner for inquiries about, discussion of, or the disclosure of wages.” The DOL’s new regulations provide guidance on the permissible scope of policies that limit wage discussions as well as the notice employers must provide to employees about such policies.
Five members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, including stars Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo and Alex Morgan, filed a complaint at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the U.S. Soccer Federation alleging that they are paid almost four times less than the men’s national soccer team, despite generating nearly $20 million more in revenue in 2015. The complaint alleges that U.S. Soccer violated the Equal Pay Act by paying the reigning World Cup champions significantly less than the U.S. men’s team for similar work.
A group of female sales representatives alleging sex-based pay discrimination claims against their employer under the federal Equal Pay Act cleared an initial, but significant, hurdle last week when the Southern District of New York granted their motion for conditional certification of a collective action seeking more than $100 million in damages. The court held the plaintiffs had made the required “modest factual showing” that female sales representatives nationwide who worked for the defendant, Forest Laboratories, Inc., were “similarly situated” and should be permitted to opt-in to the lawsuit.