The Equal Pay Act of 1963: Equal Pay for Equal Work

The Equal Pay Act is a federal law that mandates that employers pay women and men equally for equal work. Passed in 1963, the act is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The law was passed to help correct gender-related wage disparities between men and women. If you believe that your employer has violated the EPA, you might want to consult with the attorneys at Swartz Swidler.

What is the Equal Pay Act?

The Equal Pay Act is an amendment that was passed in 1963 of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It protects men and women from being paid less than their opposite-sex coworkers.

Determining equal work

Courts may consider jobs to be similar enough to each other even if they are not identical and still find EPA violations. If two workers are performing the same tasks, their job descriptions and titles won’t matter for the EPA analysis. Courts generally find two jobs to be equal if they require equal levels of effort, skill and responsibility. If one job requires a few extra duties, it is legal for an employer to pay more for those extra tasks. Some courts will still find EPA violations if the higher-paying jobs with additional duties are reserved for workers of only one gender.

What “Equal Pay” means

Employers are required to pay employees performing the same duties the same rates, but they are not required to pay the employees the same total compensation amounts. If a worker receives higher pay because of his or her higher level of productivity, the pay disparity does not violate the EPA. If employees do equal work, they are also supposed to be given equal benefits, including life, health, pensions, retirement plans, dependent care savings accounts and others. Forms of compensation other than wages such as vacation time, bonuses and profit-sharing also must be equal under the EPA.

Who is covered under the Equal Pay Act of 1963?

The Equal Pay Act covers all employees and genders. In most cases, however, it has been applied in situations in which female workers have been paid less for performing the same jobs as their male coworkers.

Making a claim

Workers are not required to file EPA wage discrimination charges with the EEOC. If your rights have been violated under the EPA, you are able to file a lawsuit against your employer directly. Contact Swartz Swidler for more information about filing your claim.