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Equal pay for equal work is protected by the law

For many New York residents, equal pay and equal compensation for work are important issues. The freedom that employees have to work in an environment free of discrimination is backed by a number of federal laws. These laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the United States.

These laws are very broad, covering compensation an individual receives for work, be it stock options, life insurance, vacation pay, salary, or bonus pay. According to these laws, men and women should be paid equally for equal work. This does not mean that the jobs need to be identical, but they should be equal in substance. According to these laws, the focus is not on job title but instead on the substance of the job. This includes the skill required to perform the job, the effort needed, and the working conditions.

As an example, the Equal Pay Act sees 'skill" as the training, education, or experience that a person needs if they're going to perform a particular job. Focus is placed on the skills needed for the job, not necessarily on the skills that the individual doing the job has. This means that two people could work doing bookkeeping for the same company. The jobs may be considered equal, even though one individual has a degree in literature and the other does not because the degree is not a requirement for the job.

It is permissible for people to receive different pay based on their seniority, their merit, or the amount they produce or the quality of the items they produce. The sex of the individual cannot be used as a criteria to determine pay.

If an individual feels that they are being discriminated against at their place of work because of their sex, he or she may want to talk to an attorney who specializes in employment law. The attorney might help the client understand laws pertaining to equal employment opportunity, and the lawyer may be able to represent their client in court if the need arises.

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The Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Goldman
501 Fifth Avenue
Suite 1900
New York, NY 10017

Phone: 212-983-8999
Fax: 646-693-2289
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