Male Worker Successfully Alleges Claim Under Equal Pay Act

In a recent Georgia pay discrimination case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit determined that a male was entitled to proceed with his claim. The Fulton County, Georgia community development specialist alleged that he was paid less than a female manager who had the same job responsibilities.

The Equal Pay Act provides that women and men at the same workplace must be given equal pay for equal work. The jobs do not need to be exactly the same, but “substantially equal.” What you do in your job, rather than your job title, determines whether the jobs are “substantially equal.”

Your right to be free from pay discrimination is protected by many federal laws – so if you have a claim under the Equal Pay Act you may also have a claim under Title VII. If you think you’re not getting paid the same amount as someone doing the same job as you – and you believe that it’s because of your gender – it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced Georgia Equal Pay attorney. A skilled Atlanta employment discrimination attorney can evaluate your particular situation and determine the next steps to take.

In the recent Georgia case, the court looked at the responsibilities of both a male and female holding similar jobs. The facts showed that from 1999 to 2007 the male worker – Ronald Edwards – began taking on job responsibilities beyond his pay grade. Although he complained and requested a pay raise from his employer (Fulton county), they didn’t do anything.

A female – Carolyn Stewart – was later hired into the same position as Edwards, but was promoted within a month. She got a pay raise with the promotion.

Edwards complained. It’s important to note that rather than looking at the different job titles of Edwards and Stewart, the court looked at their job duties. A comparison showed that each person’s job duties “were of equal complexity and difficulty” and each of their jobs involved “the same responsibilities and required the same effort.”

Further, because this was a county job they were paid according to a classification system. The court noted that using the county couldn’t use the classification system as an excuse for the unequal pay. Edwards had requested a pay raise that could have been granted without reclassifying his position or altering the classification system.

Based on these factors, the court determined that the Edwards could proceed with his job pay discrimination claim.

If you have questions about your pay, or believe that you have been a victim of pay discrimination, contact an experienced Atlanta employment discrimination lawyer right away to ensure you get all the pay you deserve.