Good Salary Negotiations Skills Do Not Justify Pay Disparities

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On May 15, 2009, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Drum v. Leeson Electric Corp., No. 08-1678, that an employer had not satisfied its burden of proving that a wage disparity between a male and a female employee was based on a factor other than sex merely by showing the male employee had negotiated a higher salary, i.e., where the male had benefited from a market-driven pay situation. In reaching its decision, the Eighth Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment for the employer on the plaintiff's claims under the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Missouri Human Rights Act.

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