There are many statutes that make it illegal to pay workers differently based on their gender. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was a federal law and the first attempt to close the wage gap between men and women doing similar work. Title VII, passed in 1964, was also designed to create greater equity between genders when it came to promotions and other employment decisions. The EPA was an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
All employers are covered under the EPA whether they work for a government agency or in the private sector. However, it doesn’t mean that it is illegal for a man and a woman to be paid a different wage for performing substantially similar work. For instance, an employer could create a seniority system or base pay on a worker’s quality of work over a given period of time.
Workers have three years to submit a claim if an employer willfully broke the law. The statute of limitations is two years if an employer did not willfully violate the law. While it is not necessary to file a claim with the EEOC, this should be done to protect a worker’s Title VII rights. The merit of an EPA claim will be based on the type of work that a man and woman performed without looking at job titles.
Failing to pay a worker equally for equal work could be seen as a violation of employment law. Workers may wish to hire an attorney to help them pursue their claims. This may make it easier to collect evidence or negotiate a favorable settlement without the need to take a case to court. Pay stubs or statements made by management might be used as evidence in an EPA case.