John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
612-217-4988 877-390-4527

What should you know about gender discrimination and unequal pay?

Gender discrimination can be the result of several different types of illegal conduct on the part of an employer. For instance, an employer may hire a male instead of a female for a position that they are both qualified for, just because of the difference in gender. Or, an employer may assign a male employee to a certain task over a female employee, simply because of a perceived difference in their competence level based on gender. And, in one of the most common instances of gender discrimination, an employer may pay employees differently just because of their gender, even if they are doing the same job, at the same place, requiring the same types of job skills.

What should our readers know about gender discrimination and unequal pay in Minnesota? Well, for starters, it is important to realize that this type of wage discrimination has been illegal in America since 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was passed by the US Congress and signed into law. This particular law is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

But, are there ways for an employer to justify unequal pay between two employees of the opposite sex? In short, yes, there is. The employer could prove that the pay disparity is due to a merit-based or seniority-based pay scale for the job. Or, the employer could prove that, in addition to the difference in gender between the two employees at issue, there are other differences that justify a difference in pay.

In addition to these nuances in the law, our readers should know that there are certain timeframes that come into play when making these types of unequal pay claims. It is important for workers who suspect that they are the victims of wage discrimination to get more detailed information about their own unique circumstances.

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When employers discriminate or allow harassment and retaliation to take place or continue, we are dedicated to holding them accountable for their unlawful actions.

John A. Klassen, PA
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