Court: Women can’t be paid less than men based on past wages

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. appeals court says women can’t be paid less than men based on their salary in a previous job.

A unanimous 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that pay differences for the same work based on prior salaries were discriminatory under the federal Equal Pay Act.

The decision overturned a decision by a smaller panel of 9th Circuit judges that had been criticized by equal pay advocates.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote in Monday’s ruling that allowing pay differences based on previous salaries would perpetuate wage gaps between men and women.

The ruling said those differences were based on discrimination in the job market.

Reinhardt was considered among the most liberal members of the court. He wrote the opinion before he died last month.

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