Breaking Down the Equal Pay Act

Breaking Down the Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act is not new legislation; however, countless employees each year have to fight to get paid at the same rate as other employees who are in the same line of work.

Federal law states that men and women who work for the same employer are to be paid the same pay for equal work. This doesn’t mean that employees need to have the same job titles, but the amount of work they perform should determine the pay.

In California, this was reinforced with the California Equal Pay Act in 2015. Then-Governor Jerry Brown signed the “California Fair Pay Act” which gave more clarification to the state’s Equal Pay Act in the following ways:

  • Requiring equal pay for employees who have the same level of work responsibilities;
  • Not requiring that wages be the same for those who work at the same establishment (meaning that a worker at one restaurant shouldn’t have to receive the same pay as another worker at a different restaurant);
  • Reinforcing that retaliation for employees who seek equal compensation is illegal; and,
  • Requiring employers to keep wage and other employee records for two years to three years even after the employee leaves the company.

Options for Individuals Seeking Equal Pay

If employees feel like they have a case that violates the Equal Pay Act on the federal level, they can go straight to court and are not required to file an EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) charge before taking action. The federal law states that any claim must be filed within two years of when the alleged misclassification happened. If the employer knew what they were doing and still didn’t make any changes to compensation, then an alleged victim has up to three years to file.

The same time frame applies to employees filing on the state level. However, an individual must also file the claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. An individual can file an action in court and then file with the Labor Commissioner’s Office just as long as at some point, the Labor Commissioner’s Office is notified of the filing. Depending on the circumstances of the claim, the individual may also need to file with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

How Guardian Litigation Group, LLP Can Help

TThe attorneys at Guardian Litigation Group, LLP have helped thousands of clients with their legal battles and we are ready to help you. With a free consultation, you can find out the best course of action for your wage case and get closer to getting the fair compensation you deserve. Reach out to us today by filling out our online form or calling (949) 569-9006.