The Equal Pay Act of 1963

A federal law prohibiting wage discrimination on the basis of sex (29 U.S.C. §206(d)). The Equal Pay Act is a part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (www.practicallaw.com/5-501-9884) (FLSA), the federal law governing wage and hour matters, and applies to all employers covered under the FLSA (for information about covered employers, see Practice Note, Wage and Hour Law: Overview: Covered Employers and Employees (www.practicallaw.com/2-506-0530)).

To make a claim for discrimination under the Equal Pay Act, an employee must show that unequal wages are paid for equal work both:

  • Performed under similar working conditions.

  • On jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility.

The Equal Pay Act does allow for unequal pay if the difference results from a:

  • Seniority system.

  • Merit system.

  • System that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production.

  • Factor other than sex.

The Equal Pay Act is administered and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (www.practicallaw.com/4-501-5853). For more information about wage and hour law generally, see Practice Note, Wage and Hour Law: Overview (www.practicallaw.com/2-506-0530).

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