Equal Pay Act Addresses Sex-based Discrimination

Learn moreMoney isn’t everything, but when it comes to compensation for work it matters a great deal. When sex-based discrimination rears its ugly head in the workplace, the hardest hit are the pocketbooks of its victims. This issue of inequality was the basis for the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA).

Women and other groups who have historically experienced inequality in pay are the primary beneficiaries of theEPA. The law mandates that all employees in the same company, regardless of gender, should be given the same compensation if they are doing essentially the same job. The job titles may differ, but the basis for comparison is the job description. For example, if employee A is called a sales coordinator and employee B is called a customer liaison, but they both solicit orders from prospective clients, then they essentially do the same work and should be given the same compensation.

The EPA covers not only salary but other types of monetary compensation as well. These include bonuses, stock options, life insurance, overtime pay, representation allowances, profit sharing, vacation and holiday pay, and other benefits. If there is a substantial discrepancy between two employees doing the same work, the employer may increase the pay of one to match the other, but may not reduce compensation of either employee in any way.

Sex-based discrimination may manifest itself in the workplace in a number of ways, but compensation is something that is clearly documented and can be checked. If there is any sex-based discrimination when it comes to pay, it is typically easy to prove.

Any violation of the EPA may be directly filed with the court by the concerned party; there is no need to first file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In general, workplace discrimination claims must first go through either the EEOC or the state commission (which in New York is the New York City Commission on Human Rights) before a claim can be made in court.

A case under the EPA, as well as for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which also protects people against sex-based discrimination, must be filed in civil court within two years from the time of the alleged violation. A claimant under the EPA may also file a case under Title VII at the same time. An experienced sex-based discrimination lawyer can determine the pros and cons of this.

If you have experienced discrimination because of your sex, make sure to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You shouldn’t have to suffer through the complexities of the law alone.

Proposed Bill to Purge Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

While many states have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, the majority of them, as well as the federal government, have no such law. While many would argue that the Civil Rights Act applies to situations where gay and lesbian individuals are discriminated against, but the law only protects from discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, and religion.

discrimination based on sexual orientationThere are hundreds of documented studies where gays and lesbians have been discriminated against at work based on their sexual orientation.

Legislation is being introduced in both the Senate and House to combat this discrimination. Many corporations already have protections of their own in place, but a federal law would help improve the situation.

This bill should have very little problem gaining support in Congress as the overall public opinion becomes increasingly gay-friendly.