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How Do You Prove Your Employer Violated Equal Pay Laws?

If you aren't paid the same as your coworkers for doing the same job, you may have an equal pay claim. The law requires your employer to pay employees the same for the same work without adjusting for any type of discriminatory factor.

What does the equal pay law require?

The equal pay act requires employers to pay women and men equally for doing the same job. It also covers other types of protected classes, such as race.

Employers can have other reasons for different pay like performance or seniority, but they can't decide a certain gender or race is worth less. They also can't use pay criteria that constructively discriminate against a protected class.

What does it mean to do the same work?

The legal term is substantially similar to work. Substantially similar work means that the two jobs are very similar in terms of skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions.

Skill refers to the skills and abilities needed to do the job. Effort means how hard you need to work to do the job. Responsibility means what you're responsible for doing. Working conditions mean the physical environment and hazards.

What do you need to prove to make an equal pay claim?

There are several elements you need to prove to make an equal pay claim. First, you need to prove that you were doing the same work as another employee as described above.

Next, you have to be working for the same employer in the same place. Different employers don't have to pay the same as other employers. Employers can also set different pay rates for different locations as long as their reason for doing so isn't based on the protected characteristics of the employees working there.

In addition, you should be working the same hours and times of the day. Pay differences are allowed for full-time vs. part-time employees, overtime, or working undesirable shifts. Finally, the person making more than you must be of a different gender, race, or other protected class for it to be discriminated against.

How do you report equal pay violations?

The state or federal Department of Labor prosecutes employers who violate equal pay laws. However, they are mainly focused on punishing the employer, not on getting you compensation. To recover the wages you should have been paid, you can file an equal pay lawsuit against your employer.

To learn more about how to bring your equal pay case, contact a local employment lawyer now