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Have provisions of the Equal Pay Act been violated?

IBM has two manufacturing facilities-one in New York City and one in Evergreen, Oklahoma. Marjorie has worked in the Oklahoma plant for 15 years assembling resistors. Her sister, Ellen, has worked at the same plant for 15 years also. The two sisters have similar educational qualifications and skills. Their brother, Hank, has worked there for 10 years in the same job as his sisters. He also has the same educational qualifications and skills as his sisters. Ellen transfers to the New York facility. Their salaries are now as follows:

i. Marjorie - $12.00 per hour
ii. Ellen - $19.50 per hour
iii. Hank - $14.00 per hour

Explain the provisions of the Equal Pay Act and state whether a violation has occurred.

Solution Preview

First, let's examine what the EPA says.

"Equal Pay and Compensation Discrimination
The right of employees to be free from discrimination in their compensation is protected under several federal laws, including the following enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. It is job content, not job titles, that determines whether jobs are substantially equal. Specifically, the EPA provides:

Employers may not pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions within the same establishment. Each ...

Solution Summary

The solution looks at the EPA, and based on that information, derives a solution to the question posed.