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Gender Discrimination and the Equal Pay Act: FAQs (Pt. 1)

Posted by Kathy Harrington-Sullivan | Apr 08, 2015 | 0 Comments

Equal pay is a family issue. Women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and are a growing number of breadwinners in their families. More women are also working in positions and fields that have been traditionally occupied by men. When women are not paid fairly, not only do they suffer, but so do their families.

This is according to the White House, which has been focused on closing the gender wage gap that is currently resulting in full-time working women earning about 77 percent of what their male colleagues earn in the same positions.

Delving deeper into this topic, this blog series will respond to some frequently asked questions about gender discrimination and the Equal Pay Act (EPA). While the responses provided herein are generally helpful, you can easily obtain specific answers pertaining to your situation by contacting the trusted Atlanta employment attorneys at the Law Firm of Barret & Farahany, LLP. We are dedicated to fighting for our clients, defending their rights and helping them obtain justice when they've been the target of any type workplace discrimination and/or harassment.

Important Answers about Gender Discrimination and the Equal Pay Act

Q – For the EPA to apply, do men and women have to be working in identical jobs.

A – No, the jobs do not have to be identical; however, the following should apply to the jobs in question for the Equal Pay Act to generally be applicable:

  • A “significant portion” of the job duties/responsibilities should be the same for the jobs in question.
  • Similar or the same levels of education, experience, skills and/or training should be required for the jobs in question.
  • There should be similar physical and/or mental work required for the jobs.
  • There should be similar working conditions under which the jobs are performed.

As a result, this means that it doesn't matter if two jobs have different job titles or are situated in different departments; as long as the nature of the work, responsibility and effort are generally similar, the jobs can be considered to be the “same” for the purposes of the Equal Pay Act.

Q – What about the same workplace?

A – Typically, yes, the jobs in question – and the workers in these jobs – will usually have to be working in the same workplace/at the same location for the purposes of the EPA. It's important to point out, however, that there are exceptions to this, such as when one manager oversees workers in similar positions at two different locations/worksites.

For more answers to common questions about gender discrimination and the Equal Pay Act, be sure to check out the upcoming second and third parts of this blog series – they will be published soon.

Atlanta Employment Lawyers at the Law Firm of Barret & Farahany, LLP

Do you believe that you have been the target of gender discrimination related to your pay? Or do you need help resolving an employment legal issue? If so, you can turn to the experienced Atlanta employment attorneys at the Law Firm of Barret & Farahany, LLP for aggressive legal advocacy and the highest quality legal services.

At Barrett & Farahany, LLP, we're willing to take the hard road, turning over every stone along the way, to obtain every piece of evidence and information that's needed to win your case. Our lawyers are innovative, persistent, and motivated, and they are ready to put their experience, skills and insight to work helping you.

About the Author

Kathy Harrington-Sullivan

Kathy Harrington Sullivan is a Partner at Barrett & Farahany who helps potential clients understand the law, clarify their rights, and determine which steps they can take to protect themselves and their jobs.


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When you reach out to us, you will receive a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled Atlanta employment attorneys. During our initial consultation with you, we can help you to better understand your rights and will work with you to determine what course of action is in your best interest. We take great pride in providing assistance based on years of experience negotiating and litigating employment matters to protect employee interests. If you find yourself in need of dedicated legal representation, we are prepared to advocate on your behalf – our goal is always to protect employee victims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.