If you work in an Oregon office or company where men and women work side-by-side, you may notice various challenges arising from time to time. For instance, it's not all that uncommon for jokes or comments to get out of hand, leading to employee complaints about unfair treatment in the workplace. Concerning your wages, however, your gender should not come into play when determining pay scale. Instead, your employer should offer equal pay for equal jobs.
Job title and job content are two different things. One names a position where the other describes duties a particular person holding a certain title regularly carries out in the normal course of his or her work week. Perhaps you have noticed that some people who do jobs very similar to your own are making more money at it than you. If you have also noticed that those making the most money are the opposite gender from you, you might have an employment law problem on your hands.
What does U.S. employment law say about equal pay?
In 1963, the United States government signed the Equal Pay Act into law. This law obligates employers nationwide to provide equal pay to people in the same workplace who do the same job. This law is non-gender based. The following facts provide further information about the Equal Pay Act, and one or more of the issues listed may apply to your situation:
- Equal pay does not refer only to wages. This law also pertains to any bonuses, incentive pay, stock options, vacation pay, overtime pay or profit sharing available.
- EPA may even cover situations, such as hotel accommodations on a business trip. Let's say your boss offered to pay 100 percent of your colleague's hotel bill but only offered you half that amount for the same hotel, on the same trip, doing the same job as your co-worker. This may definitely be a sign of an employment law violation, especially if the only difference between you and your co-worker happens to be gender.
- If you bring a pay discrepancy based on gender to your employer's attention, he or she cannot lower the other person's pay to match yours. To the contrary, your employer would be obligated to raise your pay to match the higher wages.
- Equal pay issues sometimes intersect Title VII employment law issues. The latter prohibits discrimination based upon religion, age, race, ethnicity or sex.
You might be worried about filing a complaint regarding unfair pay wages in your workplace. That's understandable as some Oregon workers wind up losing their jobs altogether if they confront employers about such problems. However, that in itself may be grounds for an additional unfair treatment or wrongful termination claim.
Many workers are able to rectify their situations by relying on experienced employment law attorneys to fight their battles for them in court.