In a somewhat unusual recent case that illustrates the “any other factor other than sex” affirmative defense available to employers to rebut a pay discrimination claim brought under the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled that the voluntary election of a different compensation model made by two employees — a man and a woman — performing the same job did not violate the law, even though the man ended up making $700,000 more than the woman over a three-year period.

In affirming a lower court ruling in Schleicher v. Preferred Solutions, No. 15-1716 (6th Cir. August 2, 2016), the appeals court concluded that the disparity was the result of the two employees’ voluntary choice in compensation models, which the court said constituted “any other factor other than sex” under the Equal Pay Act.

A copy of the court’s decision in Schleicher is available here.

Members of the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC) can read more here.