Price-fixing Lawsuit Says Equal Pay Not Appropriate for Egg Donation

Has one bad egg ruined the whole bunch? Guidelines set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine may have the whole egg donation industry in legal trouble.

A class action price-fixing lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California makes an interesting argument against equal pay for women.

The lawsuit is based on payment guidelines set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) that call for a payment range per egg donation cycle of $5,000 to $10,000 at the maximum.

The suit says the range was established, in part, to equate to what sperm donors would be paid if they were paid at an hourly rate, and that formula is inappropriate based on the unique challenges and time commitment of egg donation.

The suit asserts that the payment guidelines amount to maximum price rules that many egg donor agencies have adopted, and that those "rules" artificially limit the amount egg donors are paid for their services.

Lindsay Kamakahi originally filed the lawsuit against the ASRM, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and Pacific Fertility Center on April 12, 2011. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 4 in San Francisco.