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December 16, 2021

Fourth Circuit Rules That Rates of Pay, Not Total Compensation, Determine the Validity of Equal Pay Act Claims

The Equal Pay Act’s requirement that employers provide employees equal pay for equal work applies to rates of pay within each pay type employees receive, not to total compensation, according to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued on December 3, 2021.
Home » News » Fourth Circuit Rules That Rates of Pay, Not Total Compensation, Determine the Validity of Equal Pay Act Claims

Matt Purushotham
Thu, 12/16/2021

The Equal Pay Act’s requirement that employers provide employees equal pay for equal work applies to rates of pay within each pay type employees receive, not to total compensation, according to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued on December 3, 2021. In the case before the court, the female plaintiff received greater total compensation than her male co-worker due to earning higher commissions. However, the court found that the plaintiff may still have a viable EPA claim based on being paid a lower salary than that male counterpart. In reversing the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claim by federal district court in North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit relied on the fact that the EPA does not refer to total wages, but rather prohibits employers from paying employees “at a rate less than the rate at which [the employer] pays wages to employees of the opposite sex.”

If you are a former or current employee who believes your employer has paid you at a rate less than your opposite sex co-workers who perform the same work as you do, you may have a claim under the EPA. If you have questions about how this law affects, you can contact MSE at info@mselaborlaw.com.

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When McGillivary Steele Elkin LLP decides to take your case, it is because we believe there is an unacceptable workplace violation that has negatively impacted you or resulted in your employer paying less than what the law requires and which we have a reasonable chance of remedying. We recognize that meritorious claims should not go unremedied because of the level of a person’s resources.

To ensure accessible and available legal representation for all our clients, MSE handles cases through different forms of fee arrangements, including contingency fees, hourly fees and fixed fees.

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