Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers
Equal Pay Act
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) requires that male and female employees are given equal pay for equal work. Although the law protects both sexes, violations almost always arises out of a woman being paid less than her male counterpart. The EPA covers all types of employment compensation including salary, overtime pay, commission rates, bonuses, vacation and holiday pay, pensions, insurance benefits, and other privileges such as use of company equipment. Other laws that prohibit pay disparity include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Factors Considered in Determining Equal Work
A successful EPA claim is dependant upon the employee’s ability to prove that he or she is being paid less than an opposite-sex coworker for the same work. The jobs do not need to be identical, but they must be substantially equal. Factors considered include:
- Skill – Measured in terms of experience, ability, education and training required for job performance. Only those skills that are related to the specific functions of the job may be considered in factoring pay.
- Effort – Positions requiring a higher level of physical or mental exertion
- Responsibility – Responsibility is defined as the degree of accountability in performing the job as measured by: the extent in which the employee works without supervision; the extent of his or her supervisory functions; and the impact his or her job performance has on the company’s success or failure.
- Working conditions – The physical environment in which a job is carried out can play a role in determining an employee’s wages. Examples include temperature, ventilation, even the time of day in which the job is performed. Likewise, employees exposed to certain occupational hazards may receive higher compensation.
- Establishment – The EPA only applies to positions held within the same establishment. In most cases, this means that the jobs in question must be held at the same distinct physical location rather than an entire business with separate locations.
Filing a Claim
Once the employee has established a pay disparity based on the above factors, the burden of proof then shifts to the employer to show that the disparity is based solely on a bona fide seniority system, merit system, or on quantity or quality of production. Unlike other cases of employment discrimination, the employee does not have to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before taking a case to court. The claim must be filed within two years of the alleged wage discrimination. In cases involving willful violation, the time is extended to three years.
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
Signed by President Obama soon after he took office in 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act amended federal equal pay laws. Prior to the Act, claimants were limited to a narrow 180-day time period for which to file an employment discrimination complaint concerning compensation. The Act extended that time frame and also allows victims of wage discrimination to recover back pay of up to two years before the charge was filed.
Employees suspecting wage discrimination should consult an experienced and reputable employment lawyer as soon as possible. Equal Pay Act claims can be difficult to win without the assistance of qualified legal counsel. Moreover, a lawyer can help to determine if the employer violated any other federal or state laws that could result in additional remuneration for the affected employee.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at McOmber & McOmber, P.C. Advocate for Employees’ Right to Equal Pay for Equal Work
If you have been a victim of wage discrimination or sex discrimination, or have suffered retaliation or harassment in the workplace for filing a complaint, we can help. At McOmber & McOmber, our Cherry Hill employment lawyers are dedicated to helping victims of employment discrimination obtain the justice and the compensation they deserve. Contact us online or call our Marlton, New Jersey offices at 856-985-9800 or our Red Bank, New Jersey offices at 732-842-6500 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.