Jenny Palmer Talks Gender-Based Pay Gap in Idaho, Nationwide


In an article for Idaho State Bar’s The Advocate, Jenny Palmer outlines current federal and Idaho equal pay and employment discrimination laws and looks at strategies being developed in states nationwide to close the pay gap and increase “pay equity.”

Palmer, an associate in Stoel Rives’ Litigation group, notes that many states enacted equal pay laws following the passage of the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963, including Idaho in 1969. Unequal pay can also be addressed through federal statutes such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state laws such as the Idaho Human Rights Act. However, there is still a significant gender pay gap—over the past 15 years pay for women has remained at roughly 84% of men’s earnings.

According to Palmer, many states are trying creative approaches to equalize levels of pay for substantially similar work. Some are prohibiting employers from asking about and/or considering applicants’ prior salary or wage history while others are enacting laws that protect the right of employees to inquire about and discuss wages or require employers in some instances to disclose the pay range of a job or, in Colorado, in every job posting.

Palmer concludes: “[I]t will likely take more than laws and litigation to finally close the wage gap. Employers need to proactively work on pay equity, employees need to advocate and negotiate for themselves, and society needs to provide more support for caretakers, now more than ever.”

You can read the full article here.

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