What Is The Equal Pay Act?

What Is The Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a federal law requiring employers to pay men and women equally for performing the same type of job. Positions and titles do not have to be synonymous in order for the jobs to be considered equivalent. What matters is that the varying tasks completed and skill level required are weighted the same. There has been a considerable amount of room for court interpretations of the Equal Pay Act. However, courts have ruled that two different positions that require an equivalent skill set should be paid equally regardless of gender.

Despite these protections, a gender wage gap still currently exists between men and women. If you are being paid less than other workers who are a different gender than you, the experienced employment law attorneys at Swartz Swidler may be able to help.

Federal Employment Laws

While the Equal Pay Act mandates equal pay for equal work, it is only applicable to sex-based discrimination in wages. The Fair Pay Act further expands these protections in a couple of ways. In addition to gender, this Act prohibits pay discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation and nationality. The Equal Pay Act only prohibits sex discrimination between workers performing the same exact jobs or different positions requiring an equivalent skill set, The Fair Pay Act is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

The Fair Labor Standards Act is the primary federal law that addresses equal pay, minimum wage, overtime pay and other labor issues. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is also an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Wage statistics

Despite these federal laws prohibiting such actions, wage discrimination is still prevalent. According to a 2007 report by the U.S. Census Bureau, white women earn only 78 cents for every dollar that a white man earns. These wage gaps further widen when women of other races are figured into the equation. African American women earn 68.7 cents for every dollar a man makes. The Hispanic female population earns even less at the rate of 59 cents for every dollar a man earns. Interestingly, the highest female earners are Asian American females who net 89.5 cents for every dollar a man makes. This puts them in a unique position since they may still experience racial discrimination despite those few extra cents on the dollar.

Contact Our Employment Attorneys

All workers deserve to be paid equally for equal work. If you are not being paid equally for work that is equal to that paid to someone of another gender, you may have the basis for a legal claim under the law. Contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Swartz Swidler to schedule your consultation.