Equal Pay Act 1963

What is Equal Pay Act 1963

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a U.S. law that aims to address gender discrimination when it comes to earnings. This law was created to remove salary disparities because of gender. It ensures equal pay for equal work. The main purpose of this act was to make sure there is fairness related to pay in the workplace. It eliminates the gender pay gap and helps provide reasonable compensation. It is a federal law that abolishes earnings disparities based on gender. It also emphasises equal pay irrespective of an employee’s gender. By addressing historical gender-based pay discrimination, it ensures that all are paid fairly for performing the same job. This Act makes it illegal for employers to pay employees differently because of their gender. Additionally, the Equal Pay Act requires equal pay for equal work, ensuring that individuals who have similar duties get corresponding compensation. There are exceptions to this Act, based on factors like seniority, merit, quantity and other unrelated factors.

Historical Relations

The United States of America had a large gender pay gap in the 1960’s. Women were consistently paid less than their male counterparts for performing the same job, facing discrimination based only on their gender. Legislation like the Equal Pay Act was needed to address and change all these unjust practices, promoting equal pay and challenging all societal norms regarding gender roles. The Equal Pay Act was then enforced. Enforcing the Equal Pay Act involved mechanisms to ensure compliance. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The EEOC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is an agency. It is an agency which is responsible for the handling of the Equal Pay Act and serves as a protector. It protects those who fall victim to unfair pay practices because of gender and supports them. They have multiple mechanisms which they offer to employees who experience unfair pay. One such mechanism is the ability to file complaints. Employees are able to file complaints with authorities, EEOC, which upholds and enforces anti-discrimination laws. Individuals who see pay discrimination can file a complaint to the EEOC, which will investigate and take action. The EEOC takes action, keeping in mind the relevant evidence and files. They investigate charges when it comes to employees covered by the law. There are multiple solutions provided by the EEOC. They include seeking back pay and injunctive relief to prevent further pay disparities or preferential practices. This enforcement measures safeguard equal pay rights. 

How EEOC helps?

The EEOC Can help facilitate equal pay practices in an organization, in multiple ways:

  • For mediation services, the EEOC can help facilitate healthy solutions between an employer and an employee. The mediation services help an employee get their rightfully deserved pay, and educate employers about paying practices. Mediation is a peaceful, low-level resolution within an organization, which is facilitated by the EEOC. If mediation fails, there are other steps which the EEOC can take to ensure fair paying practices.
  • The EEOC can take legal action. Since the Equal Pay Act of 1963, different pay for the same role and different genders is illegal. Because of said fact, the EEOC can take legal action if mediation is unable to reach a resolution. The EEOC can file a lawsuit against your employer, on behalf of the employee. This lawsuit can seek legal action for an employer to change their paying practices, and demand backpay, and compensatory damages. Backpay is the return of wages and benefits which the employee would have availed if they had received equal compensation. Compensatory damages are monetary awards granted to an employee to compensate for inconveniences. The EEOC lawsuit can ask for either of these things.
  • The EEOC can also provide retaliation services. These services shield you from an employer fighting back against you. Once the EEOC has received an investigation request, the requestee is protected from any retaliation.
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