Equal Pay Act and gender wage discrimination

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Posted by Legal Team On October 23, 2016

The Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 was passed to prohibit wage discrimination in the workplace on the basis of gender. The Act is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standard Act (FSLA) and was passed because men and women doing the same job were being paid different wages. The Act gave employees the right to file a complaint against their employer in case of any discrimination.

The Act is applicable to all public and private offices in federal as well as state jurisdictions. It makes sure employees who perform the same task, and are of the same skill set and have equal responsibility are also paid equally by the employer. It is important to understand what qualifies as equal work. Two workers who have the same job, work under the same conditions and have similar skill sets should be paid equally, regardless of gender. However, employers may get around this complication by arguing that one of the employees has slightly better skills, enough to warrant a higher salary. The judge determines whether the difference is enough to have different pay scales for both employees.

Those who feel their rights are being violated because of their gender have the right to sue their employer according to the Equal Pay Act. The onus is on the employee and their legal team to bring forward proof. They must establish that a man and a woman working in the same environment and doing equal work are being paid differently. It is complicated to prove that both the employees are of the same skill set and performing the same task.

If you feel your employer is discriminating against you because of your gender, it is advisable to contact an attorney. The attorney will go over your case and help you file a complaint in court.