lysis of Messaging to Employees or Executives

Review the recent court decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (based in San Francisco, California). Although the U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed the case, and sent it back to the Circuit Court, for a number of months it was the law in that part of the Nation. The decision reversed prior decisions and held that when it comes to pay differentials in the workplace and pay decisions by employers, prior salaries may not be considered, even if the pay differential based on prior salary was based on a factor other than sex (gender).

https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2018/04/09/16-15372.pdf

Compare the Ninth Circuit decision with a legislative act closer to home: an amendment to New York State Labor Law Section 194, effective October 8, 2019. https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/new-pay-equity-laws-in-new-york-and-new-79925/.

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Imagine you are an HR manager of a large company based in Memphis, Tennessee, but with a branch in Los Angeles (the Ninth Circuit covers all of California, as well as Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and several other states), and which has its largest company branch in Brooklyn. Please describe how you would communicate with (a) the other Human Resources department managers and other executives; and (b) employees, concerning company policy on this cutting-edge issue of salaries and differentials? You can provide a brief memo or e-mail (one paragraph) if you wish to encapsulate your thoughts in that way. Consider how you might address employee concerns or questions directed to you as to whether the company will utilize the Ninth Circuit decision or New York law to justify a company-wide policy? (The Ninth Circuit decision would create binding caselaw that employers affected by the federal Equal Pay Act would have to follow.) How might you address the same question from the Board, Executives or Human Resource personnel on the company side? Describe how you would frame your communication, what factors would you consider it important to emphasize or not emphasize, does the audience of your message matter?

Sample Solution

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