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Spencer Johnson McCammon Weekly

Spencer Johnson McCammon Weekly

Topic of the Week  Are you a victim of pay discrimination?

  • skill
  • effort
  • responsibility
  • working conditions
  • establishment

Under the Equal Pay Act (EPA), a claimant for pay discrimination “does not have to prove that two jobs are identical but rather must show that the “skill, effort and responsibility required in the performance of the jobs are substantially equal.” Work is “substantially equal” for purposes of the EPA if it requires “equal skill, effort, and responsibility. This determination turns on the actual content of the job-not mere job descriptions or titles. 

The law looks to many factors when determining whether or not pay/compensation discrimination has occurred. Each of these factors is summarized in categories below:

skill: measured by factors such as the experience, ability, education, and training required to perform the job. The critical issue is what skills are required for the job, not what skills the individual employees may have.

effort: the amount of physical or mental exertion needed to perform the job.

responsibility: the degree of accountability required in performing the job.
working conditions: encompasses two factors: (1) physical surroundings like temperature, fumes, and ventilation, and (2) hazards.

establishment: The prohibition against compensation discrimination under the EPA applies only to jobs within an establishment. An establishment is a distinct physical place of business rather than an entire business or enterprise consisting of several places of business. In some circumstances, physically separate places of business may be treated as one establishment. For example, if a central administrative unit hires employees, sets their compensation, and assigns them to separate work locations, the separate work sites can be considered part of one establishment

Differences in pay are permitted when they are based on seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production. These are known as affirmative defenses and it is the employer’s responsibility to prove that they apply.

Thought of the Week

"The majority undoes bargains reached all over the country. … It does so with no real clue of what will happen next—of how its action will alter public-sector labor relations. It does so even though the government services affected—policing, firefighting, teaching, transportation, sanitation (and more)—affect the quality of life of tens of millions of Americans."

–Elena Kagan, dissenting in Janus v. AFSCME

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Spell a Fresh Hell for Workers’ Rights

Workers and labor unions should be particularly concerned about Judge Kavanaugh’s history of siding with businesses against workers and for pushing a deregulatory agenda.

Top Five News Headlines

  1. Federal Reserve chair: Decline in worker share of national economy ‘very troubling’
  2. Ann Hopkins, Who Struck an Early Blow to the Glass Ceiling, Dies at 74
  3. Labor Department Removes Rule Forcing Employers to Disclose Anti-Union Deliberations
  4. Who Will Care for the Carers?
  5. It’s Time For Our Elected Officials To Get To Work On Paid Leave

List of the Week

from Workplace Fairness

Top Five Retaliation Search This Week

Retaliation for: 

  • Public Employees
  • Political Activity
  • Workers Compensation
  • Discrimination Claims
  • Unions

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