Equal Pay Discrimination in the Workplace
Everybody wants to live a better life. In achieving that, one must be financially stable so they could afford to buy basic needs like food, get a decent education, and plan the future of their families ahead. That is why wages are very important for workers. While some don’t really pay much attention to it, this is very important for those who badly need it. Yes, people work hard for the money. But there must be some sense of equality when it comes to people’s wages so that nobody gets the upper hand when it comes to compensation.
In the olden times, a man and a woman, even if they have the same job and tenure at work, were never equal. Mean usually have the upper hand when it comes to compensation. But in 1963, the US Congress passed the Equal Pay Act (EPA). An amendment to the existing Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), this new law abolishes gender pay gap. According to the Congress, the difference in wages paid to male and female workers are clear acts of sex discrimination. Moreover, this can be a cause for labor disputes and can constitute an unfair method of competition between workers. Under this law, women and men who have the same work in the same workplace should be given equal pay.
In the implementation of such law, there are inconsistencies, as same job titles don’t necessarily perform the same tasks. Sand so, job content is the one used to determine if jobs are substantially equal. The equal pay discrimination law covers all forms of pay. Whether it is the regular salary, holiday pay, allowances, reimbursements, as well as benefits, the EPA requires that employees should get equal pay for the same work done regardless of one’s gender. In trying to level the wages of male or female employees, employers can never reduce the wages of either of the sexes.
Usually, sex discrimination is the common reason why employers end up violating the Equal Pay Discrimination law in California and everywhere else in the US. In such violations, victims who has an EPA claim can also make another, separate claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, particularly a claim for an act of discrimination in the basis of one’s sex. However, there are also instances when people end up getting unequal wages because of different reasons. These may include discrimination on the basis of age, race, religion, color, disability or even national disability. In such cases, one person may also file claims under other sections of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or other clauses of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
In case of an individual violation of the California EPA, victims may hire a good, knowledgeable and experienced employment and labor law attorney and directly file the claims to court. The filing of the claims to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the court are the same which is within two years when the allegation of unlawful compensation or three years if it was a willful violation of the law. One must remember though that filing the charge in the EEOC does not at all extend the time frame for going to court.
So it is important that you as an employee take the initiative to familiarize yourself with everything regarding employment and labor laws especially the Equal Pay Act. To help you with that, you can ask the help of a very knowledgeable labor law attorney so that you can stand up and fight for your rights whenever needed. For employers on the other hand, it pays to be familiar with the EPA and other laws not just to avoid getting sued, but also to help foster a work environment conducive for better work relations for happier and more productive workplaces.