Mariah Berry Featured in The Texas Lawbook on Strategies for Avoiding the Gender Pay Gap

The Texas Lawbook has published a guest article by Muskat Devine attorney Mariah Berry exploring strategies employers can use to achieve pay equity.  

The article, “The Gender Pay Gap: Strategies for Avoiding and Addressing Pay Equity in the Workplace” (subscription required), was written by Ms. Berry to commemorate Women’s History Month. 

“As a management-side labor and employment attorney, I have witnessed the importance of implementing effective strategies to achieve pay equity and reduce the risk of noncompliance with the evolving legal landscape of pay equity laws,” wrote Ms. Berry. 

In the article, Ms. Berry cites U.S. Census Bureau data that shows that women earn, on average, 84 cents for every dollar earned by men. This disparity is even more pronounced for women of color, with African American women earning 69 cents and Latina women earning 57 cents for every dollar earned by white men.  

While gender pay gaps pose a significant legal risk for employers, Ms. Berry offers several steps employers can take to reduce them. They include: 

  • Conducting pay equity analyses, which can help employers identify potential patterns of pay disparity across not only genders but also age, race and other protected classes. But they are not without legal risk, which is why employers should work with experienced employment counsel. 
  • Keeping abreast of recent pay transparency legislation and enforcement actions, which is critical to preventing claims of gender-based pay discrimination. This includes laws enacted by state and local governments aimed at closing the gender pay gap. 
  • Enacting diversity and inclusion initiatives, which can be valuable recruiting and retention tools. However, with the end of affirmative action in higher education, reverse discrimination claims have become increasingly common, making it important to work with experienced employment counsel to ensure diversity and inclusion initiatives are compliant. 
  • Providing education and training to managers and HR professionals on topics such as unconscious bias, gender equity and fair pay practices. 

By implementing such strategies, Ms. Berry writes, “employers can better insulate themselves from the unintended consequences of unidentified pay disparities.” 

To read the full article, click here.