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American Medical Association Adopts Resolution to Promote Pay Equity

The healthcare industry is following other industries with an increased focus and growing sense of alarm over the gender pay gap.

According to Doximity, in 2017, female physicians on average earned $105,000 (27.7%) less than male physicians.  Similarly, a 2016 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that female academic physicians at public medical schools earned on average $51,315 (20%) less than their male counterparts.  At last week’s Annual Meeting, the American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates adopted a resolution to address this pay disparity among physicians and within the AMA.

The AMA resolution is a great reminder that healthcare employers should be mindful of the pay equity gap and the need to address this issue.  Here are some practices healthcare employers can adopt to promote pay equity and reduce their exposure to pay disparity claims:

  • Discuss the pay equity challenge with senior leaders so they are aware of the issues and can help formulate a response

  • Tweak or perhaps completely rebuild compensation structures

  • Transparently and objectively define compensation criteria and pay structures

  • Consider a routine audit of salaries and make appropriate adjustments to ensure pay equity

  • Provide training to reduce implicit bias in determining compensation

  • Create educational programs about negotiating fair compensation

Healthcare employers should also learn the ins and outs of the growing number of state and municipal pay equity laws and ordinances prohibiting inquiries into job applicants’ salary history.  For more information see Jackson Lewis’ recent updates on pay equity laws enacted by CaliforniaConnecticutVermontOregon, and Massachusetts.

The AMA’s attention to the pay equity gap is a reminder that the healthcare industry is not immune from the problems causing pay disparity or the legal and societal pressures to achieve pay equity.  

Summer Clerk Jessica Murphy, in our Hartford office, contributed to this blog post.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 172

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 Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Sarah R. Skubas, Associate, Litigation Attorney, discrimination, harassment
Associate

Sarah R. Skubas is an Associate in the Hartford, Connecticut, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice is focused on employment litigation, preventive counseling and labor relations.

Ms. Skubas defends employers against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations and state and federal FMLA violations. She also assists employers in providing preventive counseling, preparing employee handbooks and policies and procedures, advising on such personnel matters as hiring and firing, performance management, internal investigations and...

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Margaret Strange, Jackson Lewis, alternative billing arrangement attorney, employment litigation lawyer, EEOC law, sex discrimination legal counsel
Principal

Margaret (Peggy) J. Strange is a Principal in the Hartford, Connecticut, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is also the firm’s National Client Practice Leader.

Ms. Strange joined Jackson Lewis in 1996. She has a broad area of practice and experience within the firm. Ms. Strange manages national, regional and local client relationships, looking for new and innovative ways to add value and build strategic partnerships with clients with a focus on predictability, strategy and alternative billing arrangements.

She also has an active litigation practice that covers the spectrum of employment litigation, including state and federal claims. Her experience includes both suits by private parties and by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She has handled cases involving claims of race, age, disability, and sex discrimination, as well as sexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, and wage and hour. She has successfully tried cases in state and federal court and prevailed in appeals before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and Connecticut Appellate Court.

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