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The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits disparate compensation of employees on the basis of sex. Men and women working at the same place of business and performing equal work are entitled to equal pay. To fulfill the equal work requirement, job titles need not be identical so long as the skills and responsibilities required of the positions are substantially the same. Pay differential is substantiated only when it is a result of seniority, productivity, or other merit based factor unrelated to the employee’s sex.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code make it unlawful for employers to consider an individual’s gender when making decisions related to hiring, firing, promoting, training, compensating or other terms of employment. Also covered under Title VII and the Texas Labor Code, employers may not base employment decisions on stereotypes as to which gender has the abilities, skills, or traits to better perform a position or duty. Title VII and the Texas Labor Code not only prohibit outright, intentional sex discrimination but also company policies that may unintentionally exclude individuals on the basis of gender.
An employee who reports or opposes certain practices on the basis of sex discrimination cannot suffer retaliation by his or her employer. This means that an employer may not demote or terminate an employee who makes a good faith claim of sex discrimination in the workplace simply on the basis of his or her complaint.
Employee Remedies For Sex Discrimination
In a lawsuit for sex discrimination, an employee may be able to recover:
- Lost wages and benefits to the time of trial
- Compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
- Attorney’s fees
- Expert witness fees
- Costs of court
Prior to filing a lawsuit, an employee must file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). These agencies enforce the laws protecting employees from sex discrimination in the workplace.
What to do if your Employer Discriminates Against you Because of your Sex
Contact an attorney immediately, and preferably an attorney who routinely represents employees in employment litigation. If you are not able to contact an attorney, you should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division. To preserve your rights under the law for this type of discrimination, you must act quickly and typically must follow certain procedural steps, such as filing a charge of discrimination with either the EEOC or TWC. Lastly, take thorough notes regarding everything discriminatory that is being said or done to you and keep all records related to your employment. These notes and records may prove invaluable in a later lawsuit.
Additional Resources for Learning About Sex Discrimination in the Workplace
- EEOC Information on Sex Discrimination
- Workplace Fairness Fact Sheet on Sex and Gender Discrimination
If you feel you have been discriminated on the basis of pay and wish to speak to a Texas equal pay rights attorney at the Martinez & Martinez Law Firm, please submit a case review form or contact us at Martinez@martinezlawyers.com.
CAUTION: The information on this webpage and website does not constitute legal advice. The purpose of this information is to provide GENERAL information to the public and to raise awareness of Texas employment laws for Texas employees. DO NOT read anything here and make a decision affecting your legal rights, such as a decision not to pursue a lawsuit or to file a lawsuit, without first consulting a lawyer. ONLY your own individual attorney can provide you with legal advice and properly inform you of your rights and remedies under the law. This website does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information provided within it. Finally, this information only applies to Texas employees, as employment laws differ greatly from state to state.
This is not legal advice.