Proving Unequal Pay

According to the EEOC, laws against compensation discrimination include all payments made to or on behalf of employees as remuneration for employment. Forms of compensation covered include salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursements, and benefits. The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. Title VII, ADEA, and ADA prohibit compensation discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.


dollar billUnder the Equal Pay Act (EPA), it is not the job title itself, but the “skill, effort, and responsibility required in the performance of the jobs” that must be proven as identical. Furthermore, the EPA applies only to jobs within a single establishment.


  • Skill – Includes factors such as experience, ability, education, and training requirements. It’s important to note that the skills determined are those that are required for the job, not what skills the individual employees have.
  • Effort – The amount of physical or mental exertion needed to perform the job.
  • Responsibility – The degree of accountability required in performing the job.


Unlike the EPA, Title VII, ADEA, and ADA do not require that the claimants job be substantially equal to that of a higher paid person, nor do these statutes require the claimant to work in the same establishment as a comparator. However, you must prove that your employer intended to discriminate against you.


In New York, a discrimination claim can be filed with the New York Division of Human Rights (DHR), the EEOC, or the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CHR). If you are a victim of compensation discrimination, contact the lawyers at The Cochran Firm New York to discuss all of your options at (212) 553-9215.

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