The Federal Equal Pay Act
The Equal Pay Act ("EPA") prohibits pay discrimination based on sex. However, it is limited to pay discrimination between employees who are performing the same job at the same location. It provides that women who perform substantially the same job tasks as men, requiring the same level of skill, with similar levels of exertion and responsibility under similar conditions should generally be paid at the same rate. Only considerations such as seniority, merit or other genuine business related factors will justify a pay differential.
Although the EPA’s protection is limited to pay differentials, and is therefore narrower than that of Title VII, the EPA does not require that an employee first file a complaint with the EEOC. An employee may bring a lawsuit for money damages under the EPA in state or federal court within two years of the discrimination occurring.