Under several federal laws, employees have a right to be free from discrimination in their pay and compensation.
Which Types of Compensation Are Covered?
These laws apply to all forms of compensation, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits.
The Equal Pay Act
Under the Equal Pay Act, employers must pay men and women equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The work content must be substantially equal, whereas the job title is less important. Specifically, employers may not pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs under similar working conditions within the same establishment that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility.
- Skill: the experience, ability, education, and training required to perform the job;
- Effort: the amount of physical or mental exertion needed to perform the job;
- Responsibility: the degree of accountability required in performing the job;
- Working conditions: (1) physical surroundings like temperature, fumes, and ventilation; and (2) hazards;
- Establishment: a distinct physical place of business rather than an entire business or enterprise consisting of several places of business. In some cases, physically separate places of business may be treated as one establishment.
Pay differentials are permitted when they are based on seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production, or a factor other than sex. Employers have the burden to prove these “affirmative defenses.” When correcting a pay differential, an employer may not reduce an employee’s pay; instead, it must increase the pay of the lower paid employee.
The Equal Pay Act applies to virtually all employers. Claims under this law do not need to be filed with the EEOC, and claims must be filed within two years of the violation, or three years if the violation was “willful.”
Title VII, ADEA, and ADA
Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA prohibit compensation discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. Under these laws, the claimant’s job does not need to be substantially equal to that of a higher paid person outside the claimant’s protected class, nor does the claimant need to work in the same establishment.
It is also illegal to retaliate against an individual for opposing discriminatory employment practices.
If your employer is discriminating against you, then you can learn about what action to take here.
DOES NEVADA LAW PROHIBIT COMPENSATION DISCRIMINATION?
Yes, Nevada law also has prohibitions against compensation discrimination similar to Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA.