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Under the Equal Pay Act, workers of one sex who perform substantially similar jobs are entitled to the same pay as their counterparts of the opposite sex. But it doesn’t take much to make jobs dissimilar enough to thwart direct comparisons. Keep this in mind when preparing job descriptions and explaining pay differences.
The Fair Labor Standards Act protects employees and former employees against retaliation for complaining about wage-and-hour violations, including filing lawsuits. For example, an employer can’t try to punish a former employee by providing false negative references or otherwise interfering with someone’s job prospects. Basically, retaliation is anything that would dissuade a reasonable person from making the complaint in the first place. Fortunately, simply asking the former employee if he wants to settle a lawsuit isn’t enough, even if the effort is persistent and makes for an uncomfortable confrontation.