The Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. As the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) notes, it is “job content, not job titles, that determines whether jobs are substantially equal.” There are five factors used to determine equal pay employment discrimination:
- Skill — This factor stresses the skills that are required for the job, not the skills a particular employee may have.
- Effort — If a certain position requires additional physical or mental exertion to perform a job, the EEOC says it would not be a violation to pay that person more, regardless of whether the job is held by a man or a woman.
- Responsibility — Based on the degree of accountability of a position, an employee may be paid more for having particularly specific additional responsibilities, although minor differences would not justify a pay differential.
- Working Conditions —Physical surroundings and hazards are used to determine this factor.
- Establishment — The EEOC notes that an establishment is “a distinct physical place of business rather than an entire business or enterprise consisting of several places of business.” However, some physically separate places of business can be treated as one establishment if, for example, a central administrative unit hires employees, sets their compensation and assigns them to separate work locations.
While charges under the Equal Pay Act were in decline up until the 818 receipts recorded by the agency in fiscal year 2007, the number rose again the following year and 1,044 receipts were recorded for fiscal year 2010. That same year also resulted in $12.6 million in monetary benefits.
Another important rule to make note of regarding equal pay and compensation is that employers cannot reduce the wages of either sex to equalize their pay if there is an inequality in wages. We will go over additional forms of discrimination at work in future blog posts, but in the meantime, tell us if you have had any experiences where you felt that you or a loved one were not receiving equal pay for equal work. How did you address the situation?
Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment attorneys