Offering equal pay for equal work should be the simplest rule for any employer to follow. The sex, age, race, religion, nationality, or disability status of the person doing a job should not determine his or her pay — only performance and experience should dictate pay rates.
Far too many companies fail this this simple test of fairness, however. Despite the presence of federal laws like the Equal Pay Act (EPA), Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers continue subjecting workers to pay discrimination. Victims of such unfair and illegal treatment should contact an equal compensation lawyer in Columbus to discuss their option for receiving back wages, economic damages, and, in some cases, punitive damages. Individuals and entire groups can file lawsuits, depending on the circumstances.
The EPA, enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), covers most types of pay discrimination. The law specifically prohibits paying people differently when they do “equal work on jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and are performed under similar working conditions.”
To make this easier to understand, the EPA provides that all employers must provide the same wages, salary and benefits to each employee who does essentially the same job at the same location. Job titles and responsibilities do not need to be identical for EPA rules to apply. Rather, the EEOC asks the following questions to determine if pay should be equal:
Contacting a Columbus, Ohio, EEOC lawyer to discuss these questions and to understand if you may have an unequal pay claim under the EPA. Assessing the chances for success before committing to what can be a lengthy and difficult legal process is important because each case is decided on its own merits. Plaintiffs must collect, organize, and present a great deal of information regarding employment contracts, job descriptions, payroll data, and testimony from executives, supervisors, and co-workers.
After the EPA, the next largest group of unequal pay cases involve violations of the FLSA. This law requires employers to comply with the prevailing state minimum wage, pay overtime to qualified workers, and correctly classify workers as employees or contractors. Applying FLSA’s rules for overtime eligibility and contractor status can get very complicated. Speaking with a Columbus equal compensation attorney will help answer essential questions.
The EPA allows unfairly compensated employees to take their cases directly to court. Complaints brought pursuant to federal antidiscrimination law like Title VII require the EEOC to issue the Right to Sue before a plaintiff can file a lawsuit on FEDERAL claims. A dedicated Columbus equal compensation lawyer can assist an unfairly paid employee navigate this process.
Another concern is that many pay discrimination cases go through mediation or arbitration before, or instead of, a civil trial. Hiring an attorney who has experience representing plaintiffs in alternative dispute resolution proceedings will help an unequally compensated employee achieve his or her best outcome. The Columbus overtime pay lawyers at The Friedmann Firm have handled both types of processes.
Contact a Columbus equal compensation attorney today. The Friedmann Firm offers free and confidential consultations.