The Equal Pay Act requires the same pay for women and men doing the same work under similar working conditions and requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility. But the law provides several ways for employers to defend pay disparities. Wage differences can be justified if they are based on a seniority or merit system, or vary depending on the quantity or quality of production.
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation and benefits topics – whether it’s minimum wage, workers’ compensation laws, or employee pay – if properly handled, can help you retain workers and recruit new ones.
Use our advice to craft independent contractor agreements that keep independent contractors – and your bosses – happy.
Almost everyone assumes that all employees are covered by the federal FLSA. But in some rare circumstances, employees in very small and distinctly local businesses may not be entitled to minimum wage or overtime. If the business does not earn at least $500,000 in gross annual revenue—the minimum for an entire enterprise to be covered by the FLSA—then some employees may not be covered either.
Employers that pay new hires more than employees with the same or similar experience should be prepared to prove why they needed to sweeten the pot. Otherwise, they risk an Equal Pay Act lawsuit if it just so happens the hire is of the opposite sex as an incumbent.
Under California law, all employees must receive regular wage statements. Employers that “inadvertently” fail to provide pay information might get away with it, but they shouldn’t count on it. Recently, the Court of Appeal of California considered the meaning of “inadvertently” and upheld penalties assessed against an employer that classified workers as independent contractors when they could not provide Social Security numbers.
If you decide to pay new hires more than employees with similar or better qualifications, be prepared to prove why you needed to sweeten the pot. Otherwise, you could be risking an Equal Pay Act lawsuit if an incumbent belongs to a protected class.