Equal Pay Violations
As an employee in today’s society, you’d expect that your employer would pay you the same as they pay other employees of the opposite sex. However, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, between 2010 and 2020, the rate of Equal Pay violations as a total of all employment law cases increased by 50 percent. If you believe that your employer is not compensating you fairly in relation to members of the opposite sex, you can bring an Equal Pay violation against your employer. At The Nourmand Law Firm, our California employment discrimination attorney aggressively pursues cases on behalf of employees—and only employees. The Nourmand Law Firm never represents employers because our loyalties lie with workers.What Is the Equal Pay Act?
As is the case with many employment laws, the requirement that employers provide equal pay to employees is embodied in both state and federal law. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a federal law, and the California Equal Pay Act is the state equivalent. In 2015, the Equal Pay Act was strengthened through the passage of the California Fair Pay Act. Generally, both these state and federal laws are intended to combat sex discrimination.
Workers have rights under both state and federal law. However, the federal Equal Pay Act only applies to sex-based differences in pay, whereas the California Equal Pay act applies to pay disparities based on sex, race and ethnicity. Thus, generally speaking, the California Equal Pay Act provides greater rights than are available under federal law.
Under state or federal law, the general principle of the equal pay acts is that employers are prohibited from paying employees less than employees of the opposite sex for “substantially similar work.” When courts look at what is considered “substantially similar work,” they look to the skill, effort, responsibilities, and working conditions. Thus, when comparing a worker’s pay to others who work for the same employer, there is no requirement that an employee work in the exact same position as the potential comparators.Can Employers Justify Pay Differences Between Workers of the Opposite Sex?
Yes and no. If employees are performing the same work and are similarly qualified, an employer cannot legally pay them different wages. However, there are a few ways in which employers try to defeat potential equal pay act violations. Most often, an employer will claim that any pay difference is not based on the sex of the worker but is instead a function of the worker’s seniority, productivity level, or past job performance.
Employers can also claim that any wage difference between members of the opposite sex was due to a “bona fide factor other than sex.” For example, the following could potentially be bona fide factors other than sex that employers may argue justifies their pay decisions:
- An employee’s education;
- An employee’s experience;
- An employee’s training; or
- The quality or quantity of an employee’s work.
Importantly, employers cannot justify a pay difference between members of the opposite sex based on prior salaries. This is because the historical disparity between the wages of men and women would be allowed to continue if employers could justify pay differences based on historical wages. Thus, if an employer determines it will base an employee’s pay increase on the current wage, the employer must be able to justify the disparity.If Your Employer Isn’t Paying You Fairly, Contact The Nourmand Law Firm, APC
If you believe that your employer isn’t paying you a fair wage compared to members of the opposite sex, reach out to The Nourmand Law Firm, APC, as soon as possible. At The Nourmand Law Firm, we proudly stand up for the rights of all employees, ensuring that our clients receive the wages they are entitled to. For more than 20 years, we’ve been righting employers’ wrongs by aggressively advocating on behalf of workers across Southern California. To learn more, and to speak with our Los Angeles Equal Pay violations attorney, call 800-700-WAGE (9243). You can also connect with us through our online contact form.