Understanding equal pay parameters

Most people who are employed today have come into the workforce after the 1963 enactment of the Equal Pay Act and may therefore assume that the spirit of this law is well understood and practiced by all employers. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case. It is, therefore, important that every employee have a good grasp on what this law stipulates.

Who is covered under the EPA?

Many people might assume that equal pay rights are geared toward protecting women only. However, as explained by the U.S. Department of Labor, employers are required to pay all employees equally, not just employees of a certain gender.

What constitutes “pay”?

The Equal Pay Act does not relate only to a person’s hourly wages or salary. Things like benefits, vacation time, reimbursement policies, bonuses and more are all included under the provisions of the EPA.

What happens in the case of an inequity?

If two people are deemed to be unequally compensated by the same employer, the employer may not reduce the compensation of the higher earner. Instead, the employer must amend the compensation of the lower earner to eliminate the discrepancy.

What determines inequity?

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a person’s job title is not one of the factors used to determine fair compensation. Instead, it is the function or content of a person’s job that relates to this determination.

How can an employee pursue assistance?

Employees may file complaints directly with the EEOC or they may also immediately pursue civil legal action without first filing a claim with the EEOC.