How to Prevent Gender-Based Discrimination Lawsuits Based on Pay
Employment litigation based on gender discrimination is likely to increase over the next few years, as the federal administration promises to increase its focus on the treatment of women in the workplace. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it will soon increase focus on eliminating gender and sex discrimination in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released its latest priorities, including a strong focus on elimination of sex and gender discrimination as well as a spotlight on equal pay for women.
The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women in the same job receive the same wages. The jobs in this situation do not have to be identical, but they do have to be substantially equal or similar. Basically, the law requires similar work content, and not necessarily job titles. If a man and a woman in the workplace have different job titles, but the content of their work is substantially similar, or requires similar kind of skills, responsibility and effort, their pay scale should be the same.
Unfortunately, mistakes often occur because managers, supervisors and other persons in positions of authority in an organization may not be able to completely judge whether skills, responsibility, effort, working conditions and other factors in two separate jobs performed by males and females, are the same. To understand more about how you can reduce the risk of pay-related gender discrimination lawsuits, refer to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidelines on this.
Train managers and supervisors at your organization about understanding and analyzing factors that determine similarity of work conditions for male and female employees, to ensure that there are no discrepancies or gaps in payment. It’s a good idea to get an employment lawyer to help formulate the anti-discrimination policies in your workplace. Those policies should not only be defined clearly, but must be included in all employee handbooks. Manuals must be comprehensive, and must reflect state as well as federal discrimination laws. Don’t forget manuals once they’re created, but get your lawyer to update these regularly so that they reflect the latest changes in employment law.