Pay discrimination continues to be a persistent problem for women in the workforce. Despite strides to reduce gender pay gaps, women typically receive only 79% of what men make even when taking into account occupation, location, level of education and age.
Federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
Paying women less because of their gender is unlawful under the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EPA requires employers to pay members of the opposite sex the same wage when they are preforming the same job at the same location. Exceptions to the rule may include pay rate differences where seniority is considered, a merit system is used, pay based on quantity or quality or other factors other than the sex of the employee.
Iowa & Illinois Equal Pay Acts
Not only do federal laws offer protection against discrimination, many states also have laws to extend protection to those at risk:
In 2009, Iowa passed the Iowa Equal Pay Act that states an employer may not pay employees doing equal or similar work differently based on the employee’s race, color, gender, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Much like federal laws, the Illinois Equal Pay Act prohibits employers with four or more employees from paying unequal wages to men and women for doing the same or substantially similar work, except if the wage difference is based upon a seniority system, a merit system, a system measuring earnings by quantity or quality of production, or factors other than gender.
Unfortunately, despite the law, unequal pay is not a thing of the past. Every year lawsuits are brought against companies when employees discover they are being paid less than their male counterparts when performing the same or similar jobs.
Contact Our Quad-Cities Employment Law Attorneys
If you have been a victim of workplace discrimination due to sex or gender or other factors such as age, race, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability and other protected statuses, contact the Law Offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for help. Our experienced employment law attorneys have successfully represented many Iowa employees regarding issues of workplace discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination matters. Call today at 563-355-6478.