How to prove an equal work for equal pay claim

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2019 | Employment law

Ever since women first started entering the workplace in large numbers, they have fought for pay that is equal to that of their male counterparts. While the country is heading into the year 2020, some employers still seem stuck in the 1960s when it comes to paying employees fairly. This may lead to you having to file a claim for equal pay in Pennsylvania.

According to Forbes, the Equal Pay Act forbids employers from paying unequal wages for equal work based on gender. What this means is your employer cannot pay you less just because you are a female. However, proving your claim under this act is not always easy. Courts require you to provide proof that backs up your claim.

Equal work

The biggest challenge is showing that you do work that is equal to that of your male counterparts. If you do the exact same job and work the exact same hours, this is probably easy. However, if there are differences, you have to show they are not big enough to fail the equal work test.

Essentially, the court wants to see that your jobs are the same. You must do nearly identical work using the same skills at the same level. You also need to have identical qualifications and backgrounds. For example, if your male co-worker has a bachelor’s degree but you never went to college, then this could void your claim. Additionally, your employer may use the defense that the other employee has more seniority, works longer hours, produces a higher quality of work or earned a raise through legal channels.

This is not to say that you cannot prove an equal pay claim. It is possible, but you need to be sure that the pay difference is not due to something else. Only then may you have a case that is strong enough to appeal to the court.