State Law:The newly amended Massachusetts Equal Pay Act, effective July 1, 2018, is intended to close the pay gap by accomplishing several objectives:
Federal Law: The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was passed as an amendment to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and is aimed at eliminating wage disparity based sex. It provides that employers cannot pay a lower wage to employees of one gender as compared to workers of another gender, when the individuals are performing equal work.
To better understand your rights to equal pay under Massachusetts and federal law, it is helpful to review some common indicators that your employer is violating the law:
If any of these scenarios seem familiar or you believe you are the target of other forms of gender-based wage discrimination, you should consult with an attorney regarding your experiences. It is critical to confer with an experienced lawyer about time considerations. Strict deadlines may apply to your case, and you do not want your claim to be barred by relevant statutes of limitations.
Introduction to the topic of equal pay from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Information from the EEOC on the protections provided to workers and the laws which provide those protections.
Original text, provided by the EEOC, from the act which mandates equality in compensation.
Original text, provided by the EEOC, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. This provides similar protections to equal compensation for women as the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
The law which provides guidelines on discrimination because of sex.
NPR article about a lawsuit in California which resulted in previous pay not being allowable as a reason for not complying with equal pay.
An article from NBC News which details the progress made on achieving equal pay.
A resource from the Massachusetts state government which details the updated Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA) which will become law on July 1, 2018.
A publication from the Office of the Attorney General which provides an overview of the updated law and answers frequently asked questions about said law.