Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act (EPA) is a federal law which requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same workplace. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal.

Job content, not job titles, determines whether jobs are substantially equal.

The EPA provides that employers may not pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions. Here are factors considered under the Equal Pay Act.


Measured by factors such as the experience, ability, education, and training required to perform the job. The main focus is what skills are required for the job, not what skills the individual employees may have.


The amount of physical or mental exertion needed to perform the job. For example, if one assembly line job required more physical  effort than a packaging job on the same assembly line, it would not be a violation to pay that person more, regardless of whether the job is held by a man or a woman.


The degree of accountability required in performing the job. For example, a salesperson who is delegated the duty of determining whether to accept customers’ personal checks has more responsibility than other salespeople.

Working Conditions

This encompasses two factors: (1) physical surroundings like temperature, fumes, and ventilation; and (2) hazards.

Under the Equal Pay Act, an employer may defend against such a claim with evidence that the difference in pay is the result of a factor other than gender.

We have extensive experience with Equal Pay Act claims in today’s workplace. Please contact us to discuss your situation involving the Equal Pay Act.