Equal Pay for Men and Women
Men and women who do the same kind of work should be paid the same compensation. Unfortunately, too often, men and women are not paid the same for the same job. The pay gap persists in all types of jobs, even jobs that you might not expect. For example, it has been reported that female surgeons earn about 70 percent of what male surgeons earn when they have the same specialty. If you are concerned about equal pay for men and women in your workplace, you should consult the Dallas wage law attorneys at Rob Wiley, P.C.Equal Pay for Men and Women
Men and women who perform the same kind of work in the workplace must be paid the same compensation under the federal Equal Pay Act. The Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibits sex discrimination concerning the compensation of men and women in the same place who perform jobs mandating substantially equal effort, responsibility, and skill in similar work environments. The wages at issue may be more than an annual salary or hourly wage. They may include items such as company cars, health insurance, and bonuses. Importantly, your employer is not allowed to lower the wages of other employees in order to make wages equal.
In addition to the Equal Pay Act, Title VII prohibits compensation discrimination based on sex, among other protected characteristics. The Equal Pay Act and Title VII are different in terms of how they are enforced, what they cover, and which legal remedies they offer workers. For example, under the Equal Pay Act, an employer can pay people of different genders different rates only if there is a merit system, a wage system based on quantity, a seniority system, a pay rate system based on geography or another factor that is not the employee’s sex, or a system based on quality standards.Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
Another federal law that may apply to issues involving equal pay for men and women is the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This Act was signed into law in 2009, and it amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, setting forth that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal pay lawsuit about compensation discrimination is triggered anew with each new paycheck that was affected by the discriminatory conduct. You will need to be able to show that your paycheck, bonus, or other compensation was affected by a prior discriminatory act for this law to apply.Texas Law
Texas also has its own equal pay law, Texas Government Code section 659.001, which mandates that women employed by the government of Texas be paid equal compensation to men performing the same quantity, grade, and kind of service. In addition to the Texas equal pay law for the public sector, the Texas Labor Code explicitly prohibits sex discrimination, among other types of discrimination. If your employer has a minimum of 15 employees, it is not allowed to discriminate against you with regard to your compensation or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, even if you are in the private sector.
An attorney can help you file a charge with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Texas Workforce Commission. These agencies have a work sharing agreement, which means that you can file with one agency and indicate that you want it cross-filed with the other. It is important to meet with an attorney before filing with the EEOC, TWC, or any other government agency.Consult an Experienced Employment Attorney in the Dallas Area
You should never be paid less than other similarly situated employees simply because of your sex. However, equal pay for men and women is not always a reality yet. If you are concerned about how you are being paid compared to your male colleagues, you should talk to a skillful employment lawyer in Dallas about your situation. Call us at (214) 528-6500 or complete our online form.