Equal Pay Discrimination
The popular recognition that women still don’t make equal pay for equal work is becoming more and more recognized each year, despite the fact unequal pay for equal work is plainly illegal under both state and federal law.
The Minnesota Equal Pay for Equal Work Law and the federal Equal Pay Act make it illegal for employers to pay different wage rates based on gender ifthe jobs in question require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and are performed under similar working conditions.
There are various exceptions relating to seniority systems, merit systems, and production quantity pay schemes, among others, but the laws are otherwise robust and are tailored to right centuries of unequal pay.
The federal Equal Pay Act is a “strict-liability” statute. That’s important—it means the employer (and not you) has to prove that it has a justifiable defense to an employee’s allegation of unequal pay.
To that end, it is illegal under Minnesota law for your employer to ban you from discussing wages with co-workers. What’s more, your employer is required to inform you of this right to discuss your pay with others in its employee handbook.
If you have questions about enforcing your right to equal pay for equal work, contact us today.