Rizo v. Yovino, No. 16-15372 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
After plaintiff discovered that she was payed less than her male counterparts for the same work, she filed suit under the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. 206(d); Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5; and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Cal. Gov. Code 12940. The County conceded that it paid plaintiff less than comparable male employees for the same work, but raised an affirmative defense to a claim under the Equal Pay Act that the differential was "based on any other factor other than sex." In this case, the County claimed that the pay differential was a result of prior salary. The court concluded that Kouba v. Allstate Insurance Co. is controlling in this case. Kouba held that prior salary can be a factor other than sex, provided that the employer shows that prior salary effectuates some business policy and that the employer uses prior salary reasonably in light of its stated purpose as well as its other practices. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's denial of the County's motion for summary judgment, remanding with instructions for the district court to evaluate the business reasons offered by the County and to determine whether the County used prior salary reasonably in light of its stated purposes as well as its other practices.