Palm Beach Gardens Equal Pay Discrimination Attorney
In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act. This law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to prohibit discrimination “between employees on the basis of sex” by paying men and women differently for similar work. The Equal Pay Act was meant to close the well-documented gender gap whereby women have historically earned less than men for doing the same or nearly the same jobs. Unfortunately, even today there are employers who continue to flout the law in this area.
If you have faced pay discrimination at work, you have the right to take legal action. An experienced Palm Beach Gardens equal pay discrimination attorney can help. At the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., we represent workers in suing employers who fail to comply with the law and help them recover monetary compensation and other damages in court.
How the Equal Pay Act Protects You
The Equal Pay Act forbids wage discrimination between men and women who perform substantially similar jobs for the same establishment. The jobs do not have to be completely identical; they only require substantially equal “skill, effort, and responsibility” under similar working conditions. The Act further applies to all compensation, including bonuses, vacation time, health insurance benefits, and other employment-related perks.
An employer cannot remedy an Equal Pay Act violation by reducing the pay of a male employee to match the lower wages of a female employee. Nor can the employer use bonuses or fringe benefits to make up for paying a female employee a lower hourly wage than a male employee.
At the same time, employers can justify a pay disparity on a number of grounds. For example, an employer may pay employees differently based on seniority or experience. The employer can also implement a “merit system” that ties pay to productivity. But in some cases, such systems may simply be a smokescreen to justify illegally paying women less than men for the same job. Another common employer tactic is to give a male worker earning a higher wage some minor additional job duties to create the impression they are doing a substantially different job than a female colleague.
Contact the Sconzo Law Office Today
The Equal Pay Act predates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is important because unlike with a traditional Title VII case, an employee does not have to file an administrative complaint first before suing an employer under the Equal Pay Act. There is a 180-day deadline to file an Equal Pay Act lawsuit. But under a 2009 change to the law, that clock resets with each paycheck affected by a discriminatory act.
Still, 180 days is not as much time as you might think to prepare and file a potential lawsuit. So if you think you might have a case, it is in your best interest to speak with a Palm Beach Gardens equal pay discrimination attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Sconzo Law Office, P.A., today to schedule a complimentary consultation.