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Florida Equal Pay/Comparable Worth: What you need to know

State law in Florida prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate at which wages are paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions (FL Stat. Sec. 448.07). Differences in pay are permissible if based on:
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• A seniority system;
• A merit system;
• A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
• A differential based on any reasonable factor other than sex when exercised in good faith.
The law covers employers with two or more employees. An employee may file a civil lawsuit against the employer to recover the difference between the amount the employee was paid and the amount that should have been paid. The amount is limited to the 1-year period prior to filing the claim.
A separate state law that prohibits unenforceable contracts requires equal pay for equal services performed regardless of sex, marital status, or race. Any person alleging a violation of this law may file a civil lawsuit to recover damages, which can include compensatory damages, punitive damages, and reasonable attorney's fees (FL Stat. Sec. 725.07).
The Florida Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status. The Act covers public and private employers with 15 or more employees, including employment agencies and labor unions (FL Stat. Sec. 760.01 et seq.).
Under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, the federal fair employment ...

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