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Equal Pay Act

Equal Pay Act


You may have an Equal Pay Act claim if you are doing Google or Bing searches for:

  • I am being paid less because I’m a woman.
  • I am making less money than men doing the same job.
  • My job pays men higher salaries than women in the same position.
  • I’ve been with the company for ten years, but they are paying new hires more.
  • My boss pays younger workers with less experience more than me.
  • I have a lower base pay because I am a woman.
  • Why am I being paid less than others for doing the same job?
  • How do I get equal pay for equal work?
  • My boss discriminates against me by paying me less.
  • As a woman, am I entitled to equal pay for doing the same job as a man?

The Equal Pay Act requires men and women to receive equal pay for equal work. While the jobs performed by the male and female employees do not need to be identical, they must be “substantially equal” based upon the job duties and required qualifications. Employers cannot evade their obligations under the Equal Pay Act by assigning different titles for the same jobs. Specifically, the Equal Pay Act provides that “[n]o employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall discriminate...between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.”

The Equal Pay Act contains certain exceptions. There is no violation when unequal pay results from “(i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex.” These exceptions are “affirmative defenses,” which means that the employer has the burden to prove that one of these exceptions applies. Under the EPA, an employer cannot correct a pay differential by reducing the pay of higher paid employees. Instead, the employer must increase the pay of the lower paid employee to match that of the high paid employees.

Ohio has its own Equal Pay Act: Chapter 4111.17 of the Ohio Revised Code. The Ohio Equal Pay Act forbids wage discrimination on the basis of sex, but goes even further by forbidding it on the basis of race, color, religion, age, and national origin as well.

We have experience representing clients in Equal Pay Act cases against both public and private employers. If you believe you are being paid less due to your sex, contact us at (513) 621-4999 to discuss your situation.