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Equal Pay

It’s Simple. All employees deserve equal pay for equal work. That goal, however, has still not been fully achieved. Fortunately, there are laws to protect you from unequal pay, and lawyers like us who stand ready to enforce them.

Equal pay adds up

How We Can Help:

  • Make it Stop. If we are retained early enough, we can sometimes convince your employer to fix the problem quickly. Your pay may be raised to an equal level, and could even get back wages to make up for past compensation gaps. We’ll help you through the process, and make sure your employer follows the law throughout.

  • Negotiate an Exit. Often, our clients are simply ready to leave, and sign-on with a new employer who respects their work. If you’re ready to move on, we may be able negotiate an exit package that provides some compensation for past inequities, and that also preserves your ability to get (and keep) a new job.

  • Legal Action. If your employer is unwilling to change once the problem has been brought to its attention, a lawsuit may be in order. We represent equal pay clients in court, in arbitrations, and in front of the EEOC. We’ll make sure you understand all of the risks and benefits involved, and if you decide to sue, we’ll shepherd you through the process – vigorously defending your right to equal treatment.

What Is the Equal Pay Act?

The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. The jobs being compared need not be identical, but they must be “substantially equal.” It’s job content, not job titles, that determines whether two jobs are “substantially equal.” All forms of “pay” are covered by the law, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, and benefits. If you think you’re being inequitably compensated, please Contact Us today.

How Do You Prove Unequal Pay?

You need to show that a man and a woman working in the same place and doing equal jobs are receiving unequal pay. To do this, you must show:

  • both employees work for the same employer;
  • they are receiving unequal pay;
  • they are doing equal work; and
  • the difference in pay is based on gender.

The jobs do not have to be identical; but they must be “substantially equal.” It’s job content (what duties are actually being performed), not job titles, that determines whether two jobs are “substantially equal.” Two jobs are equal for the purpose of the EPA when both require equal levels of skill, effort, and responsibility and are performed under similar working conditions:

  • Skill is measured by factors such as the experience, ability, education, and training required to perform the job. The key issue is what skills are required for the job, not what skills the individual employees may have.

  • Effort is the amount of physical or mental exertion needed to perform the job.
  • Responsibility – courts consider the degree of accountability required in performing the job.

Usually, employers have several justifications for the difference in pay – for example: the coworker has more education than you, more experience in a certain field, or more connections with potential business contacts. You should be prepared to show that these justifications are false, or that they are red herrings – i.e., that they aren’t actually important for performance of the job.

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