Account
Get our app
Account Sign up Sign in

Start Your Employment Contract

Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

What is the Equal Pay Act?

The Equal Pay Act prohibits wage discrimination on the basis of sex where jobs are performed under similar conditions and require equal skill, effort and responsibility. The law covers all types of pay such as salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, gas allowances, hotel accommodations, travel expenses reimbursement and benefits. 

What's required of an employer?

An employer is required, by law, to provide men and women who work in the same work place equal pay for equal work. There cannot be wage discrimination between employees on the basis of sex. All employees should be treated equally and fairly. An employer treats men and women equally by placing employees in jobs in the same facility (especially if the employer has more than one location) that:

  • Require equal skill
  • Require equal effort
  • Require equal responsibility and
  • Require job duties be performed under similar working conditions

In a nutshell, the jobs given to males and females do not have to be identical but must be substantially equal.  This does not mean that all employees have to be paid the same wage.  Differences in pay are permitted and any difference in pay must be based on reasons other than sex or gender. 

How does an employer meet the requirements?

Meeting these requirements may be a challenge to the small business because many employees regardless of gender perform more than one job or function.  In such circumstances, the employer wants to document the reasons employees are doing the jobs and being paid the wages.  This can be done by:

  • Making sure there is a seniority system in place
  • Following a seniority system (with no exceptions!)
  • Puting in place a merit system and using it
  • By measuring quantity and quality of production and including the results in employee earnings or wage incentive plans
  • Any other factors or reasons not based on sex

Christina L. Dixon
Christina L. Dixon is managing attorney at the Dixon Law Firm in Denver, Colorado. The Dixon Law Firm handles matters for small and mid-sized businesses.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.


Ask a lawyer

Our On Call attorneys are here for you.
Characters remaining: 600
Rocket Lawyer On Call® Attorneys

Try Rocket Lawyer FREE for 7 days

Start your Premium Membeship now and get legal services you can trust at prices you can afford. You’ll get:

All the legal documents you need—customize, share, print & more

Unlimited digital signatures with RocketSign®

Ask a lawyer questions or have them review your document

Dispute protection on all your contracts with Document Defense®

30-minute phone call with a lawyer about any new issue

Discounts! Incorporate for FREE + hire a lawyer with up to 40% off*

*Free incorporation for new members only and excludes state fees. Lawyer must be part of our nationwide network to receive discount.

Trusted and secure
Better Business Bureau A+ rating