Oct. 5, 2001

Court orders release of Lab's pay equity study

A Laboratory study on pay equity for women and minority employees is about to be made public.

Recently, the Alameda County Superior Court ruled that a set of internal pay equity studies conducted by the Laboratory during the 1993-99 time frame should be released to plaintiffs in litigation involving pay equity for women. That lawsuit, Singleton vs. Regents of UC, was filed back in 1998.

The Laboratory strongly disagrees with the recent decision of the Alameda County Superior Court. "We believe the privacy of our employees is paramount and that the information in these documents is protected by attorney-client privilege," explained Jan Tulk, legal counsel and Associate Director for Administration.

Tulk noted, however, that the court does not agree, and so the Laboratory is obligated to turn over these studies to the plaintiffs. The Laboratory is also making the studies available to employees.

"We want our employees to be aware that the studies could become public documents," Tulk said. "We also want to offer our employees the opportunity to discuss the subject with their supervisors."

The studies will be made available in the Lab library today.

The Lab Counsel’s office originally commissioned the studies as a response to concerns that were being raised about pay equity by some ethnic and minority employees. The studies compared salaries of employees within a rank group. The reports were not intended to serve as a Lab-wide statistical analysis, but rather to serve as a "prompt" for associate directors to review specific salaries and rank.