San Diego Equal Pay Law

Equal Pay Act Attorneys in California

Equal pay for equal work has been a legal requirement for over 50 years. Yet, the gender pay gap remains a significant issue in workplaces across the country. The wage gap is even larger for women of color.

M&A Law Offices is a California law firm that focuses on employment law. We have experience helping employees and employers address pay inequality issues.

Are you an employee or employer with a pay equity issue? Get in touch with us today to discuss your case. 

What Is the Equal Pay Act?

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) makes it illegal for employers to pay men and women different wages for the same work. The law applies to all employers, including the federal government, and covers all forms of compensation.

The EPA only requires that the work performed by men and women be substantially equal. Job content, rather than job titles, determines whether work is substantially equal. Specifically, the job does not have to be identical, but it must be substantially similar.

Substantially equal work means the jobs require the same skill, effort, and responsibility. Skill refers to the experience, training, education, and ability required to perform the job. Effort refers to the amount of mental or physical exertion needed to perform the job. Responsibility refers to the degree of accountability required to perform the job.

For example, if a female employee is paid less than a male employee for performing work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, that is a violation of the EPA. However, if the pay differences are based on a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a differential based on any other factor other than sex, the pay differences are permissible.

The EPA has a two-year statute of limitations, which is extended to three years if the violation is willful.


Why Choose M&A Law Offices?

  • 9-Step Case Process
    We have a tried and true, case-tested process to help get you the results and restitution you’re entitled to. Learn More
  • We Handle All Types of Employment Law

    M&A Law Offices has established itself as a go-to law firm in California for victims of all types of employment law cases.

  • Serving the Community for Over 20 Years
    Lawrence is a lifelong business professional working in the public and private sector.
  • Transparency of Service
    You will not pay us anything until we have secured a settlement or result from your employer. This means that we fight for you to get you the best result.

California's Equal Pay Act

California's Equal Pay Act is even stricter than the federal law. The California Fair Pay Act (FPA) prohibits employers from paying an employee less than the amount paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work. The FPA applies to all employers, regardless of size.

The FPA also prohibits employers from using salary history to justify pay differences. An employer may only use salary history to justify pay differences if the employer can demonstrate that the pay difference is based on:

  • A seniority system
  • A merit system
  • A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production
  • A bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience

However, the employer must be able to demonstrate that the factor is job-related and consistent with business necessity. The employer must also be able to demonstrate that no alternative practice would serve the same business purpose without resulting in a wage differential.

The FPA also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who file complaints or otherwise exercise their rights under the law. Employers are also required to maintain records of wages and wage rates, job classifications, and other terms and conditions of employment for at least three years.

The FPA applies to all forms of compensation, including salary, bonuses, and stock options. The law also applies to all substantially similar work, regardless of job title. The FPA has a three-year statute of limitations.

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