Equal Pay Act
Simply put, it is illegal to pay women less than men (and vice versa) for equal work performed under similar conditions. The Equal Pay Act (EPA) and other federal laws prohibit employers from paying women less than men for work requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility. Importantly, there is no “intent” requirement under the EPA; it is simply an objective standard for ensuring men and women are paid equally for the same work.
These types of inequitable wage issues frequently arise where a small group of people control the pay of many employees and have discretion as to where to set their pay that is not tied to objective criteria. For example, if wages are not tied to specific benchmarks (i.e., performance reviews, sales performance, etc.) and a manager can simply elect to pay an employee what the manager deems appropriate, that manager’s implicit biases can cause one group to be paid less than another.
Stueve Siegel Hanson advocates for employees to ensure fairness in pay. Our firm currently is prosecuting a certified collective action against the burger chain Five Guys on behalf of female restaurant general managers and assistant general managers. Information on that lawsuit is available here.
If you suspect that you might be the victim of wage discrimination on the basis of gender, it is important to act promptly; the EPA requires claims to be brought within two to three years. Call us at 1.800.714.0360 or contact us here for a free, confidential consultation.