Equal Pay Regardless of Gender

Women have been fighting to be treated fairly for a number of years. More recently, victims of sexual discrimination have been coming forward. What started in Hollywood with the downfall of Harvey Weinstein has quickly spread to victims coming forward all over the country. More recently, information in the media surfaced surrounding the unequal pay of two actors, Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams. It was discovered that there was a huge discrepancy in pay between the two actors who were hired to do similar work. If you discover that you have experienced sexual discrimination in some form, working with an attorney will likely be in your best interest when it comes to protecting your rights.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

In 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, making it his first piece of legislation. This allows for a longer period of time people experiencing discriminatory pay to have the opportunity to move forward. Essentially, each time a person receives a check with discriminatory pay, the timeframe of 180 days is reset. The idea behind this, allows for a person to have the time to assess whether or not they are experiencing wage discrimination, while giving them ample time to do so.

The Equal Pay Act (EPA)

Under the EPA, all people doing work that requires the same level of skill and responsibilities should be paid similarly regardless of their sex. The EPA looks at three factors to determine whether two jobs are similar:

  • Skill
  • Effort
  • Responsibility

When filing an EPA claim, it’s important to note that your civil rights have also been violated. As a result, a claim should also be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  Taking action can seem like an overwhelming process for someone who is untrained in this area of practice. An attorney will be especially useful because they can help make sure that the appropriate steps are taken when considering legal action. They cannot only make sure that the proper paper work is completed and claims are filed, they can also ensure that everything is completed within the statute of limitations.

Civil Rights Act

It is important to also discuss Title VII, which states that discrimination in the workplace is illegal. You cannot identify the following as a basis for hiring and firing employees:

  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Ethnicity
  • Origin
  • Race

An attorney can provide you with counsel that helps you receive the maximum benefit for your case. While there are benefits to both types of claims, Title VII claims allow for you to collect damages for pain and suffering. In the long run, this could mean higher compensation. Learning that someone of the opposite sex, holding the same job, with similar performance levels is paid more than you can be disheartening. For a number of people, it’s common to feel comfortable in choosing silence over action. It can be hard to know where you should turn or how to even move forward. Having an attorney take lead in managing your case can help to relieve stress and anxiety that you may be experiencing. It can be challenging to endure a legal process, with an attorney; you will have someone taking the lead on all matters surrounding your case.   

If your rights have been violated due to some form of sexual discrimination, you will likely experience a number of emotions. Don’t let your feelings of disbelief; shock and frustration cloud your judgment. By obtaining a sex discrimination lawyer Woodland Hills, CA trusts well versed in this area of practice, you give yourself the opportunity to advocate for yourself and have your rights protected.




Thank you to our friends and contributors at Barry P. Goldberg for their knowledge about sexual discrimination and equal pay.