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Part-time after childbirth? Careful how you figure pay

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in Compensation and Benefits,Employment Law,Human Resources

Here’s an unexpected factor to consider when an employee requests part-time work following childbearing leave: How you set her pay rate may create Equal Pay Act (EPA) problems.

Recent case: Kerrin Rector worked as an assistant public de­­fender in Blair County. After having her first child, Rector requested a reduced schedule. Her request was approved and her pay was set at 50% of her previous pay, paid on an hourly basis.

The only problem was that the county also had two part-time male public defenders who were paid on a contract basis. That meant that their hourly rates varied depending on how many hours they worked. In both men’s cases, that rate was far more than Rector received.

She sued under the EPA and the court said her case could proceed to trial. (Rector v. County of Blair, No. 3:09-CV-115, WD PA, 2011)

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