What Does the Law Say About Equal Pay Requirements?

In a perfect world, equal pay between men and women would no longer be an issue in Iowa and across the nation. However, it remains problematic as employers might still violate the law by failing to pay men and women equal pay for equal work. When there is a belief that wage discrimination is taking place, a law firm that is experienced in helping workers who have been confronted with wage discrimination can be a vital part of getting justice.

According to the Equal Pay Act, men and women who work in the same establishment should receive equal pay if they are doing the same work. It is not necessary for the jobs to be identical. They only need to be considered “substantially equal.” There are multiple aspects that are considered including skill, effort, responsibility, working conditions and establishment.

With skill, the workers’ level of education, training, experience and ability are all considered. The skills requirement to do the job is what is important. If the job itself can be done regardless of whether one worker has an advanced degree and the other does not, they should not be paid differently. Effort is how much exertion in a mental and physical manner is required to perform the job. While a man might be considered physically stronger than a woman, if the job and its completion is not limited to pure strength and is completed as required, there should be no disparity in the pay.

Responsibility is the level of accountability to do the job. Working conditions include physical surroundings and hazards. For establishment, it relates to a direct physical location and not the whole business if there are several different areas. It depends on the individual circumstances as to how the business will be characterized. When the issue is corrected, the worker who is paid more cannot have the wages lowered, but the affected worker must have the wages made higher.

When there is a belief that workplace discrimination is taking place and is negatively impacting a worker’s wages because of gender, it is important to understand the Equal Pay Act. A law firm that understands and has brought cases related to workplace discrimination can be of assistance in seeking justice and fair pay.