Clients say it best

I want to thank you again for what you have done for my family...

Attorney
Referrals

Year after year, we deliver unmatched results.

Careers

We are always looking for people who will add to our continuing success.

Detroit Equal Pay Act Violations Attorneys

Federal laws ensure the rights of workers to be free from discrimination in the workplace based on race, religion, gender, national origin, disability, pregnancy, and other attributes. Many of these well-known protections have been in effect for decades. Even so, violations still occur.

The Equal Pay Act (EPA) is one such protection. It became law in 1963 as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act and sought to end wage disparities based on gender and guaranteed equal pay for equal work. The EPA established that men and women who perform substantially similar jobs must not be compensated differently.

Gender Pay Disparities

The gap between the earning potential of men and women is well documented. Unfortunately, despite the protections offered by the EPA and similar legislation, women still make an average of 77 percent less than men. That amount is even lower for women of color.

The differences between the earning potential of men and women exist in every industry, even ones that are traditionally dominated by women.

What is Equal Work?

Equal jobs need not be exactly the same. The EPA requires that the work be substantially similar in content and performed in the same establishment. Equal work requires similar:

  • Skill — The education, training, ability, and experience needed to do the job.
  • Effort — The amount of exertion, either mental or physical, expected in the role.
  • Responsibility — The degree of personal accountability involved in the job.
  • Conditions — The physical environment, like temperature conditions or ventilation, and hazards, such as chemical exposure, encountered on the job.
  • Establishment — Work must be performed at the same establishment, which is the physical place of business, not an entire company if it has multiple locations.

Job titles are not considered when determining if positions are equal.

Exceptions to the Equal Pay Act

Sometimes, pay discrepancies between men and women who do equal work are allowed. These are called affirmative defenses, and they include things like varying educations or experience, merit, production, or seniority —anything not solely based on gender.

Violations of the Equal Pay Act

When an employer is discriminatory in its compensation practices, there could be a violation of rights under the EPA. “Compensation” refers not only to wages but also to benefits such as overtime, bonuses, insurance, profit sharing, vacation time, hotel accommodations, and travel expenses.

Potential gender-based pay discrimination situations may extend beyond salary or dollars-per-hour rates. A man being paid more than a woman who does equal work, or vice versa, simply because the company pays one sex more than another would be an obvious EPA foul. However, gender disparities involving benefits also violate the act.

Taking Action

In 2018, there were 1,066 EPA violation complaints made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the government agency that oversees the EPA and handles violation claims. Of those, 257 were resolved in favor of the person who made the complaint.

Unlike other employment rights laws, claims of discrimination under the EPA do not need to be first filed with the EEOC to go to court. If an employer is suspected of having used gender as a determining factor in compensation, a complaint should be filed as soon as possible. There is a two-year statute of limitations for EPA claims that begins upon the discovery of the discrepancy in pay.

Employers found to have violated the EPA will potentially be held responsible for back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and other penalties or requirements that will rectify the violation of rights.

Sommers Schwartz Can Help

Cases involving gender-based pay disparities are often complicated, and this makes fighting such a violation of rights difficult. Speak to an experienced employment law attorney who can gather the evidence needed to support a claim.

The employment attorneys at Sommers Schwartz are among the most experienced in Detroit, routinely representing employees and employers in cases involving all types of discrimination before the EEOC, in courtroom litigation, and advising clients in everyday situations on the job.

Sommers Schwartz employee rights lawyers will thoroughly investigate any alleged violations of the Equal Pay Act and craft an expert case on behalf of those wronged at work.

Contact a Sommers Schwartz attorney today to confidentially discuss your case and learn how we can help.

A Trusted Authority

Our attorneys have been featured on local and national media outlets, including:

sommers-media-compressor

You have really been fun to work with and are so down to earth.

I just wanted to say congratulations – I know you guys have worked very hard on my lawsuit. While there are attorneys who make the client feel like a cardboard box and afraid to say anything, it is easy to talk to you!

I’m so appreciative.

You and your team handled everything so professionally and have been so personable and compassionate. In particular, your paralegal was wonderful to me, showed me and others such empathy, and made everything so smooth. I will be happy to recommend your firm to anyone who needs legal help.

Your ability, understanding, and compassion are truly remarkable.

Your ability, understanding, compassion and at time dispassionate way of speaking for those who no longer can speak for themselves are truly remarkable.

Mr. Watkins is extremely competent and professional.

Mr. Watkins is extremely competent and professional. I would recommend him in a heartbeat!

I would recommend your law firm in a heartbeat.

Thank you Jason, I would recommend your law firm in a heartbeat. If I ever did need more help with something concerning the law, I will certainly contact you.

You did a great job.

Thank for all you did in my case, Kevin. You did a great job.

You went above and beyond expectations.

Our business is very complex with the different manufacturers we deal with and the rebate programs associated with them, and we feel the time, effort and your timeliness in understanding the different aspects of our case helped us with a reasonable resolution.

Your advice is very valuable to me.

Just wanted to formally thank you for taking the time to discuss the area of class action. I wish you the best with everything. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and everyone at Sommers Schwartz.

Overall a wonderful job and I will definitely recommend you!

I had a wonderful experience with you and Tad! I think the outcome was great, in spite of my former employer’s attempts at dodging the issue and I am extremely happy in my new position.

Our Clients Say It Best

googlereviews
40 5-star reviews on Google