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Gender Discrimination and the Equal Pay Act: FAQs (Pt. 2)

Posted by Kathy Harrington-Sullivan | Apr 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Resuming Gender Discrimination and the Equal Pay Act: FAQs (Pt. 1), here, more questions regarding workers' rights to equal pay will be answered.

Gender Discrimination and the Equal Pay Act: More Answers

Q – Is it ever OK for an employer to pay men and women different wages when they are both working in the same job at the same location?

A – It can be as long as the employer is able to establish that the higher pay for one employee who is the same position as another is based on:

  • A merit system that remunerates workers for outstanding job performance
  • A seniority system that bases compensation on duration of employment
  • An incentive system that rewards workers for the quality and/or quantity of work performed/completed
  • Other established systems that relate compensation to job performance and/or business operations (for instance, this can involve paying nightshift workers higher wages, weekend workers higher wages, etc.).

Q – How are factors like seniority or merit evaluated?

A – In the eyes of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), for merit, seniority or other systems to be valid and legitimize paying people in the same jobs different rates/wages, these systems have to be:

  • Established by nondiscriminatory rules
  • Communicated/understood by employees
  • Consistently available and applied to employees of both genders
  • The true basis of the difference in compensation.

Q – Does the Equal Pay Act only cover wages?

A – No. Any compensation an employer pays a worker will be subject to the Equal Pay Act. This includes compensation such as:

  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Stock options
  • Other forms of payment for work completed.

For compensation that is not base pay, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) uses the following to determine when discrimination may be at play:

  • Reviewing whether the criteria for earning non-base pay (like commissions/bonuses) are discriminatory in nature
  • Determining whether non-base pay is paid in discriminatory or nondiscriminatory amounts.

Don't miss the upcoming conclusion to this blog series for some more answers about gender discrimination and the Equal Pay Act.

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 Barret & Farahany, we believe in helping people and protecting their rights, which is why our attorneys always provide our clients personalized, responsive legal service. We work in true partnership with our clients to fully understand their needs and provide them with the best representation.

To learn more about our services and how we can assist you, contact us today by calling (404) 238-7299 or by emailing us using the contact form at the bottom of this screen.

From our offices based in Atlanta, our trusted attorneys provide superior representation and legal service to people throughout Georgia, including those in Decatur, Scottdale, Clarkston, Avondale Estates, Pine Lake, Stone Mountain, Tucker, Smyrna, Conley, Marietta, Mableton, Forest Park, Ellenwood, Red Oak, Austell, Lithia Springs, Morrow, Lithonia, Rex, Riverdale, Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County and Douglas County.

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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