District of Columbia Equal Pay/Comparable Worth: What you need to know

The District of Columbia does not have a separate law requiring employers to pay men and women equally for equal work. However, under the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating in compensation (or any other condition of employment) on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, or political affiliation (DC Code Sec. 2-1401.01 et seq.). The Act applies to all public and private employers in the District. There is additional information on the Human Rights Act.
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Under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, the federal fair employment laws were amended so that each paycheck affected by an employer's prior discriminatory practice or decision constitutes an unlawful discriminatory act that triggers a new deadline for filing a pay discrimination claim. An employee alleging discrimination must be able to show that the paycheck or other compensation was affected by a past discriminatory act.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a failure-to-promote claim is not "discrimination in compensation" as that phrase is used in the Ledbetter Act. (Schuler v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, 595 F. 3d 370 (D.C. Cir. 2010)). The employee in this case claimed that his employer's decision not to promote him years earlier resulted in lower pay than he would have received had he been promoted. Because he claimed the failure to promote violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), he argued that the Ledbetter Act revived his claim. ...

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