Seyfarth Synopsis: In the first case of its kind under the California Fair Pay Act, a court dismissed a pay equity class claim against Google, holding that alleging wage discrimination for “all women” does not plead enough information to sustain a complaint.
You have learned, in following our updates on California’s Fair Pay Act (2015 passage, 2016 update 1 to include more than gender, and update 2, DLSE FAQ updates, and the AB1209 Gender Pay Gap Transparency Act update), that the FPA’s requirements are hardly transparent. Well, last week, in the first ruling of its kind, a California court has provided a little clarity.
As reported here by our Pay Equity Group, a court has dismissed a sweeping class action complaint against Google, seeking to represent “all women employed by Google in California” on claims of gender-based wage discrimination. The court held that the plaintiffs had not adequately alleged an ascertainable class, meaning there was no way to tell who had claims and who didn’t. Because there was no common policy or practice affecting all women at Google, the court found that the plaintiff could not show commonality or typicality with the group she seeks to represent.
Workplace Solutions: While we have a long way to go getting clarity on what the FPA requires, this court decision was a welcome first start. Please reach out to our cutting-edge Pay Equity Group with your questions as you continue to navigate these thorny issues.