In this day and age, it may seem like to days of discrimination in the workplace based on sex are behind us. After all, many women are able to rise through the ranks in their chosen fields to positions of leadership, and conversely, men have been able to pursue work in occupations such as teaching and nursing that have traditionally been held by women. However, wage discrimination based on sex still unfortunately occurs, and it is illegal.
Under Minnesota Statutes section 181.67, known as the “Equal Pay For Equal Work Law” an employer cannot pay workers of one sex less than employees of another sex when the employees are performing work that requires equal amounts of skill, effort and equal responsibilities and that is done under similar working conditions.
Moreover, an employer cannot discriminate against workers with regards to the terms or conditions of the worker’s employment if the worker has filed a complaint regarding the equal pay for equal work law or has testified in an investigation or proceedings under this law. However, if one employee is paid more than another due to a seniority or merit system or is based on other factors other than an employee’s sex, then such acts are lawful.
It is important to make sure that workers in Minnesota are not discriminated against in the workplace due to their sex. Wage discrimination should not be tolerated. Workers who believe they have been the victims of wage discrimination based on their sex should not be afraid to speak up. Often doing so is the only way to remedy what may be a pervasive problem in the workplace. An attorney may be able to help victims of wage discrimination take the appropriate actions necessary to remedy the situation.