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Are you being paid less than your colleagues of the opposite sex?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Employment Law -- Employee |

Cases of employees being paid different salaries are not uncommon. Both federal law and Florida prohibits employers from discriminating between employees based on sex by paying employees of one gender a rate less than the rate they pay those of the opposite sex for equal work on duties that require equal skill, effort and responsibility and performed in similar working conditions.

Here is what to know:

Learn the definitions of the above-listed factors

Employees need to understand the definitions of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions in this context. Under the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA),  skill is measured by elements required to perform a job, such as education, experience, ability and education.

Effort is the amount of physical or mental exertion needed to perform the job and responsibility is the degree of accountability or duties required in performing the job. Lastly, working conditions are the physical surroundings and the hazards an employee is exposed to. 

The EPA only applies to jobs within an establishment, which is defined as a particular physical place of a business. Companies may have different definitions of what constitutes an establishment. 

An employer may pay different salaries

An employer may pay employees who meet the elements mentioned above differently if such payment is based on: 

  • A seniority system – A payment system that rewards employees according to the length of service in performing their jobs at the company
  • A merit system – This system increases an employee’s pay based on their high performance
  • A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production
  • Any other factor other than sex exercised in good faith

If these circumstances do not apply to a case, paying an employee less than their colleague may be unlawful.

If you believe your employer is paying you less because of your sex, consider legal guidance to earn what you deserve.