The Equal Pay Act of 1963 says that workers must be paid equally for equal work regardless of their gender. Workers must also be paid in the same manner for performing substantial equal duties. For instance, if a male worker is paid an hourly rate to perform his duties, a female employee must receive the same rate. It is not acceptable to provide bonuses or other perks to make up for any difference in wages.
Furthermore, no employee can have his or her pay reduced to bring it in line with what another employee may make for doing the same job. Finally, equal work is determined by what an individual does as opposed to his or her title. If two people perform a task that requires equal skill and responsibility, those people should be paid equally regardless of their gender.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 established that an employer could be held accountable for any violation of that legislation regardless of when the violation occurred. In addition, a violation occurred each time a worker was paid outside of the guidelines established in the EPA. If a violation occurred prior to the passing of the Ledbetter Act, workers may have recourse against their employers because of it.
If a worker feels that his or her employee rights have been violated, it may be worthwhile to talk to an attorney. An attorney may be able to review the case and determine a reasonable course of action against an employer. In some cases, it may be possible for a worker to win back pay or reinstatement to a prior position if he or she was terminated because of a complaint about unfair wage practices.