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Miss Utah and the Equal Pay Act
08/21/2013
By: Boyd Byers

She didn’t win the crown, but Miss Utah made the most news after the Miss USA pageant this summer. Her bungled response to a question about the gender pay gap went viral and was seen by millions on the Internet. But it also generated serious discussion about equal pay.   

'Create education better'

The question: “A recent report shows that in 40 percent of families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?”
 
Miss Utah’s answer: “I think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to … [long pause] figure out how to create jobs right now—that is the biggest problem. And, I think, especially the men are, um, seen as the leaders of this and so we need to figure out how to create education better so that we can solve this problem.” Cringe.
 
Predictably, Miss Utah’s epic fail lit up the twitterverse and blogosphere. But she got a chance at Web redemption on the “Today” show a few days later. She told host Matt Lauer that the question was “confusing” to her. So he gave her a do-over. Her new (scripted and rehearsed) answer was far better: “So this is not okay, it needs to be equal pay for equal work, and it's hard enough already to earn a living and it shouldn't be harder just because you're a woman."
 
Miss Utah’s question was prompted by the 50th anniversary of the Equal      Continue Reading...
 
Supreme Court Begins New Term
10/02/2012
By: Boyd Byers

Yesterday the Supreme Court officially opened its 2012-2013 term. The justices denied review of 304 cases, including 48 employment-related decisions. One of these cases is particularly significant for Kansas employers. 

In that case, the Court let stand a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in favor of a Kansas school district. The appeals court had held that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act applies only to claims that employees did not receive equal pay for equal work, and that this does not encompass demotion claims, even if the demotion results in a pay cut. (The Ledbetter law, as you may recall, amended Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA to provide that the time for filing a pay discrimination claim is triggered with each paycheck that reflects a past discriminatory compensation decision or practice.)  Accordingly, the Ledbetter Act did not excuse two school custodians’ failure to file a timely age discrimination claim within 300 days of learning of their demotions. The case is titled Almond v. Unified Sch. Dist. 501.
 
 
Looking for Work? The DOL is Hiring
6/27/2011
By: Donald Berner

The Department of Labor is currently hiring.  While this is good news for recent college graduates looking for work, this may not be such good news for employers.  The DOL is continuing to focus its resources on enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  This focus can mean only one thing for employers -- an increased likelihood of a wage and hour audit.  The local DOL office in Wichita, which covers most of Kansas, has added several new investigators in recent months and is currently hiring yet another.  These recent hires are just now starting to get out of their office and into employers' offices.  These additional investigators likely will result in increased enforcement activity going forward.  In the short-term, employers should consider self-auditing their pay practices, with the guidance of legal counsel under the attorney-client privilege, to ensure compliance with the FLSA prior to getting a visit from the DOL.

 


Authors
Don Berner Image
Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
Boyd Byers Image
Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
Jason Lacey Image
Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
Additional Sources
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