Equal pay for men and women has been a hot topic today. Women entering the workforce in the 1970’s were routinely paid less than males working in the same capacity. After many lawsuits and protests, women have won the right to be paid equal to their male colleagues when they are doing the same job and have the same qualifications.
The most recent topic of discussion in equal pay relates to benefits. Are employers allowed to offer different benefits to male employees than they do to their female employees based solely on their sex? The answer to this question is no, unless the employer can prove a different reason for the disparity.
Can Benefits Factor into Total Compensation?
Monetary compensation for a job is one factor in the overall picture of an employee’s total compensation package. An employer is mandated under the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide equal benefits to their employees that perform the same job and have the same qualifications. Offering different benefits to male and female employees based solely on the sex of the employee is in direct violation of these laws.
Benefits vary among employers, but can include:
- Overtime compensation
- Stock options
- Profit sharing
- Vacation pay
- Holiday pay
- Sick leave
- Travel accommodations, such as airfare, hotels, and meals
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Retirement benefits
Failure to provide men and women with the same benefits for performing the same work can result in wage discrimination. There are exceptions to this rule. Men and women performing the same job can receive different pay and benefits if the employer can provide evidence that the decision is based on criteria other than sex.
A male employee may be entitled to receive a higher salary or benefits package if they have a higher education level, more experience, or seniority over their female colleague. Vacation and sick days may vary according to the employee’s length of employment, and rates of commission can differ based on sales performance. A female employee can also be paid more than her male colleague.
Wage discrimination can also occur when male and female employees are paid in different ways. For example, if a female employee with the same job as their male colleague is being paid by the hour, but the male employee is being paid in a weekly salary, it may constitute wage discrimination. This is unfair because the female employee is set up to make less than the male employee when hours are cut or holidays result in unpaid days off from work. If the only deciding factor in the form of pay is the employee’s sex, the female employee can claim wage discrimination.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Help Victims of Wage Discrimination
If you believe you were a victim of wage discrimination, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC at 856-235-7075, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve clients in Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Camden County, and throughout South Jersey.