Equal Pay Act

What does Equal Pay Act mean?

The Equal Pay Act was an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The goal of the Act was to eliminate wage disparity between men and women in the workplace. It was signed by John F. Kennedy in 1963.

The Equal Pay Act was created to end sex discrimination. It allows that men and women working together in the same workplace should receive equal pay for equal work. Pay which must be comparable includes not only the worker's salary but also "overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay." The Act has also been applied to any acts of reverse discrimination against men.

Proving a violation under Equal Pay Act

To prove a violation of the Equal Pay Act the employee must prove several elements. First, the employee must prove the work requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility. They must prove it is performed under similar working conditions, and they must prove the pay difference is specifically related to the gender of the employees.

Penalties for Violating the Equal Pay Act

Employees may file a case in court for violations of the Equal Pay Act. Unlike other charges for discrimination, the employee does not have to file a claim with the EEOC first. All claims must be filed in court within two years of the alleged violation. If the violation is willful the employee may have up to three years to file their claim.
Compensation for Equal Pay Act violations generally include only compensatory damages to the victim. Willful violations, however, may result in punitive damages assessed by the court.

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