Equal Pay Laws (EPA & Title VII)
With over 35 years of combined legal experience, the experienced, dedicated Atlanta equal pay law attorney, Kimberly Martin and Tom Martin, at Martin & Martin routinely successfully handle cases involving equal pay and benefits in employment cases.Dedicated Fighters for Equal Pay for Equal Work for Georgia Employees
Despite the passage of several laws, many workers, most notably women, do not bring home equal pay compared to their counterparts. There are several federal laws that require workers to be paid equally. These laws include the Equal Pay Act (EPA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).The EPA and Title VII Prohibit Unequal Pay on the Basis of Sex
The most well-known equal pay law is the EPA. The EPA requires that men and women who are employed by the same employer be given equal pay for equal work. The men and women do not have to have identical jobs but, they must be substantially equal. When comparing the jobs, courts look at the job duties, not the job titles in determining whether the jobs are substantially equal. The term “equal pay” under the EPA includes all forms of pay including wages, salary, overtime pay, bonuses, vacation and holiday pay, travel expenses, and benefits. Pursuant to the EPA, workers are not required to first file a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and are permitted to go directly to court. The statute of limitation for EPA claims is two years. However, in cases of willful violations, the statute of limitations is increased to three years.
Similarly, Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity, in pay and benefits. Unlike the EPA, Title VII does require a worker to first file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC within 180 days of the discrimination. Upon receipt of a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC, the worker can file a federal Title VII lawsuit in court. In most instances, a lawyer will file both an EPA claim and a Title VII claim on behalf of an employee who is denied equal pay for equal work on basis of sex.
The most notable recent case of pay disparity came to a conclusion in 2022. In May, 2022, after six long years of litigation, U.S. Soccer and Women’s Players agreed to settle the player’s case alleging unequal pay. The World Cup-winning United States team had complained for years about the inequitable treatment of its players including unequal pay in relation to their male counterparts. Included in the settlement is not only payment to the players, but also an agreement by the federation to equalize pay and working conditions between the men’s and women’s national teams. The women’s fight is an example that gender discrimination in terms of pay and conditions still exists in this country despite the federal laws enacted to prohibit it.
Other examples of recent cases include several litigated by the EEOC including:
Female bank managers paid less than male bank managers;
Hotel management firms compensating male managers substantially more than their female counterparts;
Manufacturing plants paying hourly male workers a higher rate than female workers; and
Female law professors paid substantially less per year than their male counterparts.
Kimberly Martin and Tom Martin, Atlanta equal pay employment law attorneys are experienced Georgia litigators. They know the impact that pay disparity causes on the lives of their clients, especially women who are single mothers. While men receive higher paid hourly rates and salaries, along with raises year after year, many women performing the same job duties receive pay lagging far behind their male counterparts. Unequal pay litigation is one of the firm’s focuses as they seek to remedy pay gaps between men and women in Georgia and force employers to be held accountable for failing to provide equal pay and benefits for equal work.Other Laws Prohibiting Unequal Pay
Title VII not only prohibits discrimination in pay on the basis of sex, but also prohibits pay discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and national origin. Additionally, the ADEA prohibits wage and benefits discrimination on the basis of age. Whereas the ADA prohibits wage and benefits discrimination on the basis of disability. Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA do require a worker to first file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC before pursuing their claim in court. The statute of limitations is much shorter under these laws than the EPA. Workers in Georgia must file a Charge of Discrimination within 180 days of the discrimination.
Atlanta equal pay attorneys, Kimberly Martin and Tom Martin, determinedly and aggressively litigate their unequal pay cases. As one of the founding principles of the firm, Martin & Martin battles to recover every cent that their clients are entitled to under federal employment law statutes because they know the value of that recovery to their clients.
If you have been discriminated against in the form of pay and/or benefits on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation, Atlanta equal pay attorneys Kimberly Martin and Tom Martin welcome the opportunity to speak with you. They are typically available for same day free consultations. If they agree that pay discrimination is likely occurring, they will file the EEOC Charge of Discrimination on behalf of their clients as well as file a federal lawsuit to ensure that all avenues of recovery are taken for their clients. Tom and Kimberly would be happy to speak with you even if you are unsure whether you want to pursue an unequal pay claim but rather, want more information on unequal pay laws and to learn what you can do to protect your rights.
Fill out the Contact Us form or call the firm directly for same day free consultations.
For more information about employment laws, see Employment Laws Frequently Asked Questions.