What The Equal Pay Act Covers And Employer Defenses

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 protects your right to equal pay for doing the same work as someone of the opposite gender. However, proving a violation is not easy. Your employer also has defenses to differences in pay. Things become even more complicated if you are transgender or non-binary. Here are some questions and answers about the Equal Pay Act, employer defenses, and proving your claim.

What Does the Equal Pay Act Cover?

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 covers pay discrimination between male and female employees. This act has several specific requirements. To prove a violation, you must prove one or more of these apply:

  • Your jobs must be substantially similar in duties, education, and training
  • Your working conditions must be substantially similar
  • You all work at the same location

Your jobs do not have to be exactly the same or have the same title but must be similar in the ways above. In addition to wages, this act also applies to benefits, awards, and employee compensation.

Who Is Not Covered by the Equal Pay Act?

Most people who work for a traditional employer are covered by the Equal Pay Act. These jobs are sometimes referred to as "W-2" type jobs. Independent contractors, also known as "1099 employees," are not covered by this act. Currently, the law doesn't address recent gender identification issues. So, someone who identifies as a gender different from their birth gender may have difficulties proving discrimination.

How Do Employers Defend Differences in Pay?

Your employer may offer different pay for legitimate reasons. Here are some examples:

  • Your employer can pay you less if you have fewer or no people to manage compared to someone who has many
  • Your employer can pay more based on seniority compared to someone newer
  • Your pay could be different if you work at home versus someone who goes to the work location
  • Your employer can pay you less than someone who works in a different city or state and does not transfer between sites
  • Your employer can pay more for people who work unpopular shifts like at night

If you feel your employer has violated the Equal Pay Act, then you can do two things. You can either file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or file a lawsuit. The first option doesn't result in compensation. You might get a monetary award with a lawsuit. Therefore, if you think your employer committed a violation, contact an attorney before filing a claim. An attorney can look over your claim and give you advice on how to proceed.

Reach out to a lawyer about equal pay to see if you have a case. 

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!

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