VICTORY! The First Circuit ruled that Maine’s Equal Pay Law must be broadly interpreted to protect workers, and employees need only prove they were paid less than other comparable employees of a different gender for comparable work – not that their employer intended to treat them differently.

On September 29, 2022, the NWLC co-led an amicus brief, alongside the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, to the First Circuit in Mundell v. Acadia Hospital Corp. The case was brought by Dr. Claire Mundell, a psychologist who learned in a chance conversation with her male colleague that he was being paid twice as much as she was, for the same work. Dr. Mundell and other female psychologists earned $50 an hour each for their work, while their male colleagues earned $90 or more an hour. The question in the case is whether an employee who sues under the Maine Equal Pay Law must prove that her employer intended to discriminate against her, or whether the fact that she did the same work for half the pay as her male colleague was enough to prove that her employer violated the law. Our amicus brief urges the First Circuit to uphold the federal district court’s ruling that the Maine Equal Pay Law, like the federal Equal Pay Act, forbids sex-based disparities in employee pay, regardless of the employer’s intent.