When you apply to work a job and accept an offer, there is usually an assumption that you’re being offered the going rate for the position regardless of gender. Unfortunately, it is a reality that some employers will offer less pay to women compared to men, even if the women in question have more experience.
The Equal Pay Act is in place to help prevent this kind of discrepancy from occurring. According to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, employers are required to offer the same pay to both men and women for the same work as long as all other factors are equal.
What do you need to prove to make an Equal Pay Act claim?
To make a claim that you are being paid unfairly at work, you will need to show that you are being paid less than a male colleague doing the same job as you. You will also need to show that the jobs require substantially equal responsibility, skill, effort and working conditions. This means that factors like your overall experience and education, the effort needed to complete the work and the training required will all need to be as equal as possible to make your claim.
Interestingly, equal work doesn’t have to mean doing an identical job. If two jobs are highly similar or have a lot of overlapping responsibilities, then those may be similar enough to help you substantiate a claim for unequal pay.
How do you start a claim if you feel you’re not being paid fairly?
If you believe that you’re being treated unfairly and paid less than other colleagues because of being a woman, you can make a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You should do this within 45 days of the discriminatory act (or within 45 days of finding out about the issue).
It’s important that men and women are both treated fairly in workplaces across the country. If you are not being offered a fair wage despite being better educated or in the same position as another worker, then you should stand up for yourself and look into your options.