Equal Pay Discrimination?

I apologize, but I removed the details in case my employer is lingering around these boards. Thank you everyone for responding.

1 answer  |  asked Apr 17, 2012 10:30 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Marilynn Mika Spencer
The Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 USCA § 201 (EPA) is a federal law that makes it unlawful to pay employees of one sex a different amount than employees of the other sex, all things being equal. The hard part in these cases is the "all things being equal." The comparators would include the job title, actual work performed, experience, education, and more. The EPA isn't used as often as other laws because it is so hard to compare things such as experience. More often, we use the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e–17, which prohibits discrimination based on sex (and other bases).

As you describe your facts, it certainly is worth looking into a Title VII claim, and possibly an EPA claim. There are legal as well as strategic considerations. How you handle this is dependent on specific facts, and no on-line question and answer board is set up to handle the kind of detailed analysis that is needed in your situation. These boards works best for short, specific questions that allow for short, specific answers. Perhaps more importantly, anyone, including your employer, can read the discussions here so they are not confidential.

The amount of money at issue is enough to justify obtaining a consultation with an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney. You may need to pay for the type of detailed consultation you need. Realistically, a free half-hour or hour consultation will not be long enough to go over the details and conduct any related research. Based only on the facts you mentioned in your question, you can expect three to ten hours of attorney services, just to see if there is something worth pursuing. I realize that is a large spread of hours, but I don't know your facts so am only estimating. And your goals, and strategy, both play a role, too: Do you want to make sure you keep your job regardless of any pay increase? Do you want to sue? Do you want to try to figure out how to improve your chances for a pay increase? Do you want help negotiating? Do you want something else? Do you want to learn your options?

Plaintiffs employment attorneys in California charge between $250 and $700 per hour, based on many factors, including experience, location, status, interest in the case, availability, and more. Based only on what you mentioned, I suggest you make sure whomever you consult with, it you choose to consult with an attorney, has considerable experience because strategy will be a strong consideration.

To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.cela.org, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area. There are a number of excellent and experience plaintiffs employment attorneys in southern California!

I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.

Marilynn Mika Spencer

Marilynn Mika Spencer
The Spencer Law Firm
2727 Camino del Rio South, Suite 140
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 233-1313 telephone // (619) 296-1313 facsimile

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Apr 17, 2012 4:10 PM [EST]

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