Overview: Under the Equal Pay Act (EPA) as well as state and local fair pay laws, men and women are required to receive equal pay for equal work. Generally, the jobs do not have to be identical, but need to be substantially equal in terms of skill, effort and job responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions. The term pay pertains to not just salary, but also overtime, bonuses, vacation and holiday pay, stock options, life insurance and all other benefits and compensation of any kind paid to employees. Employers can defend a claim of wage discrimination under a seniority system, merit system, a system measuring earnings by quality or quantity of production or if wages were set based on a factor other than sex. Title VII further prohibits wage discrimination.
Trends:The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is committed to eradicating wage discrimination, increasing pay transparency and enforcing equal pay laws and it has identified these efforts as a priority in its Strategic Enforcement Plans.
At the state and local level, there also is a renewed focus on equal pay laws. Some wage discrimination laws expand the classes protected while others seek to achieve pay transparency by prohibiting employers from banning employees from discussing their salaries with each other. Several states and municipalities have enacted laws prohibiting an employer from asking prospective employees about prior salary history or wages, as this may perpetuate an existing wage gap.
Author: Beth P. Zoller, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to reflect forthcoming amendment expanding protections of Illinois equal pay law.
As mandated by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, all Oregon employers must post the Oregon Equal Pay Poster.
Year-end is a time typically focused on endings and for HR that means finalizing benefits enrollment, processing performance appraisals and completing payroll filings. But equally important is to prepare for new compliance requirements that will ring in the New Year.
There has been a renewed focus on equal pay and pay equity on the federal, state and local level. Many states have enacted laws pertaining to equal pay and wage disclosure. To help employers comply with these laws, XpertHR has new resources, a Checklist, a Task and a Massachusetts specific How To.
This How To details the steps a prudent employer should take to comply with the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act.
Two female former employees have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against sportswear manufacturer Nike alleging gender discrimination and a hostile work environment.
Updated to include distribution specifications, effective June 25, 2018.
HR Guidance on developing policies and practices to eliminate pay discrimination.