Several laws address the issue of pay discrimination in US including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967(ADEA), and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990(ADA).
The Equal Pay Act mandates that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The jobs need not be identical but must be substantially the same. It is job content, not job title that determines whether jobs are substantially the same. Specifically, the EPA prohibits employers from paying unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require substantially similar skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under same working conditions within the same establishment. Each of these factors is summarized below:
- The prohibition against compensation discrimination under the EPA holds only for jobs within an establishment. An establishment is a distinct physical place of business rather than an entire business or enterprise consisting of several places of business of a multi location concern. However, in some circumstances, physically separate places of business should be treated as one establishment, where a central administrative unit hires employees, sets their compensation package, and assigns them to work locations; the separate work centers can be considered part and parcel of a single establishment.
Pay differentials based on seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production, or a factor other than gender, is permitted. These are known as "affirmative defenses" and burden is on the employer to prove that pay differential is founded on these work related parameters instead of discriminatory considerations.
Once a plaintiff is able to make out a case of gender discrimination in compensation under the EPA, then the defendant may only avoid liability by proving the existence of one of the affirmative defenses.
For redressing a pay anomaly, no employee's can be reduced. Instead, the pay of the lower paid employees must be increased to restore parity.
The EPA protects both men and women. It also protects administrative, professional and executive incumbents who are not protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Title VII, ADEA and ADA
Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA prohibit compensation discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. Unlike the EPA, there is no requirement under Title VII, the ADEA, or the ADA that the claimant's job is substantially equal to that of a higher paid person, nor do these statutes require the claimant to work in the same establishment.
Compensation discrimination in violation of Title VII, the ADEA, or the ADA can occur in different ways, some of which are as follows:-.
When an employer pays an employee with a disability less than similarly placed employees without disabilities and the employer's explanation cannot justify the differential on job related considerations; there is pay disparity.
When an employer sets the compensation for jobs for some sections of the workers below the level suggested by the employer's job evaluation study based on race, origin or gender; pay discrimination occurs.
- A discriminatory compensation system of the past though replaced but still may continue to exert lingering discriminatory effects on present salaries. In order to redress such grievance, the employer must not only adopt a new non-discriminatory compensation policy, but also affirmatively wipe out accumulated salary disparities of the old regime, which had taken place before the adoption of the new policy and make good the loss to victims.
It is also unlawful to retaliate against a worker for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under Title VII, ADEA, ADA or the Equal Pay Act.
For more : http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/epa.html ,