Equal Pay Disputes in Florida for Employees
Serving You and The State of Florida
Equal pay in the United States is actually a relatively new legal standard. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 signed into law the requirement that persons performing the same job should earn the same amount of money, regardless of their gender. This means that men and women should earn the same wage for the same work.
There are other parts of this law that also prohibit employers from striking back at a worker who files a claim under the EPA or is part of an investigation into these kinds of cases. Knowing what the rules and regulations are regarding equal pay is key for employers in Florida. It is also important to have the support of a skilled legal team if you are faced with legal action taken against your business related to equal pay issues. The employment lawyers at Lopez Law Group can represent your case and will work hard toward a favorable outcome for your business.
What is Required to Make a Claim?
This is one of the first major hurdles for those seeking to make an equal pay claim. There needs to be a burden of proof that is met before any legal action can be taken against your business. This is why having the support of a skilled lawyer is so key. You will need to have someone working hard to investigate the situation related to the case to ensure that the burden of proof has been met. In some cases, these claims are not valid, and the burden of proof is not met, which means that the case can be dismissed.
The qualifications for an equal pay claim are:
- The employees with disparate pay work in the same place
- They perform equal work
- They receive unequal pay despite performing the same work
There are many reasons that employees can be wrong about the nature of the work that someone on the same work team does, however. It can seem like someone is doing the same job as someone else, but pay grades are assigned based on internal job descriptions that most employees are not aware of. In other cases, wage-earning is based on seniority, and the employee filing the claim does not have as many years with the company.
These kinds of rebuttals of the claim that equal pay is not being enforced in your business are key to securing a favorable outcome for your case. The team at Lopez Law Group will investigate the situation related to your case so that you can argue the reasons that the claim about equal pay issues is not correct. Employees can often make assumptions about the wages that they are making compared to someone else because of discussions at work and other misunderstandings. In some cases, this leads them to make a claim where none actually can exist.
What About Benefits?
Employee benefits are one of the areas where consistency is more likely to exist from one employee to another. Retirement, health insurance, and other forms of employee benefits typically only differ if employees are not working full-time hours like someone else in the company or if they are ineligible for very specific reasons. It is possible to make a claim in the state of Florida for unequal pay if you are not being given the same benefits as someone else who works for the company.
In these cases, there could be simple mistakes behind this oversight, such as a missed application date for benefits or incorrectly submitted documentation which has delayed the granting of benefit rights. In many cases, employees might think they have been denied benefits, but really they have just missed a few steps in the process of getting access to their benefits. These kinds of miscommunications can lead to equal pay claims that should not be opened, and Lopez Law can help investigate the correctness of these claims for your business.
While it is true that you do need to ensure that employees apply for and access the benefits that are considered part of their wages, you cannot force them to complete their part of the paperwork either. These kinds of claims often come along with various complications that explain how the situation came to be. This is why you need to have a skilled legal team on your side so that you do not end up being held to account for a situation that is not related to equal pay but is instead due to miscommunication between HR and an employee.
Are There Other Anti-Discrimination Laws Connected With Equal Pay?
The Equal Pay Act was passed one year before Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. These laws are often considered working partners in equal pay cases, since equal pay is part of non-discriminatory hiring. Race, color, religion, and national origin also cannot be used as a means to explain why someone does not make the same amount of pay as another employee doing the same job. In some cases, employees will open claims under both laws when they believe that they are not being paid fairly.
As a rule of thumb, it can be much easier for employees to prove that there are equal pay issues at their place of work than it is to prove that discrimination influenced their working situation. However, employers in Florida should be aware that the sympathy of the court might be inclined to fall on the side of the employee. This is why it is so critical to have a skilled legal team supporting your case. The facts do not lie, and presenting these facts carefully and correctly can be the difference between seeking a favorable outcome or being unable to prove that there was no discrimination involved in the lawsuit leveled at your business.
Most of these cases will not be successfully settled outside of court, and will go before a judge. Being certain that the judge has all the facts related to the case is key. The team at Lopez Law Group will make sure that all of the information related to the case is presented to the judge so that a fair and favorable determination can be made. Allowing the employee to tell the story all alone is never a good way to secure a favorable outcome in equal pay cases. The complexity of these cases cannot be overstated, and the team at Lopez Law will ensure that nothing slips between the cracks.
What Are the Penalties for Equal Pay Violations For Florida Businesses?
For employers who have willfully violated the Equal Pay Act, penalties can be severe. Imprisonment for up to six months can be requested, as can fines as high as $10,000. If discrimination is found to be involved in the case as well, the penalties can be even more severe. This is why you need to be sure that you have a skilled legal team working on your side. These severe penalties are not usually on the table, but you do not want to be faced with such severe outcomes for something that was most likely an oversight and not intentional abuse of equal pay rights.
The team at Lopez Law Group will also protect your business from being impacted by negative press related to this kind of case and ensure that you are not required to provide settlement or accommodation where none is required. Equal pay is a complex issue and not one that should be decided without all of the facts being presented correctly to the court. We will take the time to do a thorough investigation to ensure that you are not left holding the bag for actions that were never intended to be discriminatory or unfair to members of your staff. Favorable resolutions are always our goal, and we take the time to represent each client correctly and with great attention to detail.
Working With a Skilled Legal Team is Key
When your business has been accused of Equal Pay violations, you need to be sure that you have the right legal support for your case. These kinds of cases require careful investigation so that the facts can be presented properly. There is no guarantee that the employer’s side of the case will be considered fairly without good representation, and the penalties for these cases can be quite severe. Make sure that you are not held accountable to equal pay violations that you did not cause. Working with a skilled lawyer who is experienced in this kind of defense is critical for many reasons.
The team at Lopez Law Group can make sure that you do not end up facing fines and penalties for Equal Pay violations that you did not commit. We take the time to investigate these cases thoroughly so that the facts can be presented to a judge or used to secure a settlement that is fair and correct. Contact us today and set up a consultation. We are eager to get started working on your Equal Pay case today!
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What Our Clients Say
Mr. Lopez was a Godsend and really helped me with my situation. Him and the entire firm were very diligent and helped speed the early stages of the process along due to a pressing situation. Throughout my experience working with the firm, they were always responsive and available any time I had a question or wanted to check on the state of affairs. Hopefully I won’t have to recommend Lopez Law Group to my friends or family, but if those unfortunate circumstances arise then there’s only one name I would trust. Thank you again for all your help!
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