The pandemic has had widespread and devastating effects on so many areas of society. Particularly, it has thrown light on the inequalities women face in the workplace today, including pay disparities. The Equal Pay Act (EPA), designed to combat pay inequality, was passed in 1963 but remains relevant today.
The EPA requires that men and women in substantially similar roles be compensated equally—this includes rate of pay, bonuses, vacation, overtime or any other kind of benefit. Further, the Act defines substantially similar jobs based on duties alone, so it isn’t necessary to show you have the same job title as your higher paid colleague, as long as you perform the same work.
If you think you are being paid less than your male counterparts, or vice versa, you may be entitled to back wages and liquidated damages for up to 3 years. Additionally, if you were disciplined for complaining about pay inequality, you could be protected by retaliation laws.
Under the EPA, it is unnecessary to show that your employer is intentionally discriminating against one gender or another, the pay disparity alone shows you have a right to compensation.
If you have questions about how the EPA may protect you, contact us for a free, 30-minute consultation with an employment lawyer.
Rafael E. Lázaro is a founding member of Lázaro Law Group, LLC. With a particular emphasis on sexual harassment, Mr. Lázaro has dedicated his career to improving the workplace.