The answer to the above is, like most lawyerly answers, not necessarily.  (Not necessarily is a variant on the other popular lawyer answer — it depends).


The Institute for Women’s Policy Research recently issued a fact sheet that concludes that the gender gap between women and men is at an all-time low of 82.2 percent. 

This should be good news for employers.  However, the statistics do not really show that women’s pay has increased to the level of men’s pay.  Rather, men’s pay has decreased, likely a result of the depressed economy and not an attempt to equalize pay. 


As we have previously posted (2/23 and 10/11), the EEOC and the OFCCP have been increasingly going after what they term "systemic discrimination" cases.  Those cases usually involve mind-numbing statistics that make juries remember why they hated math classes.


Employers should consider being proactive and conducting a study of their pay practices.  Of course a study is only valuable if the employer plans to take action based on the results. 


Employers should be aware that such studies may be discoverable in later litigation if they are conducted internally.  Instead, it may be better to seek legal advice as to whether the pay practices pass muster, which would be protected by the attorney-client privilege.