Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton

Wage discrimination in the modern workplace

Workers in California may believe that everyone in their bracket of work is being paid the same. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Wage discrimination is still alive and well in the modern workplace, and many vulnerable groups suffer from its ill effects.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that there are five factors used to determine pay under the Equal Pay Act. This includes:

  • Effort
  • Responsibility
  • Skill
  • Establishment 
  • Working conditions

Essentially, if two people are working at the same skill level, putting in the same amount of effort, have the same accountability for their respective jobs, and work in the same field under the same conditions, they should therefore be paid the same amount of money regardless of other factors like gender, race, and so on. Differences in pay are still allowed, however. Merit, seniority, and the quality or quantity of the product delivered can have bearing on pay.

Though the wage gap between male and female employees is one of the biggest hot button issues, reminds everyone that wage discrimination can occur to any group of people.  Age, race, sexual orientation and ethnicity are all possible factors that illegal wage discrimination can fall under. In fact, any reason that isn't directly related to someone's productivity levels could potentially be unlawful.

All workers deserve the same amount of pay if they're doing the same amount of labor. While this doesn't always happen, being aware of the rights and laws in California can allow workers who are being unfairly discriminated against to fight back.

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