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

The Georgia Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying an employee at a lower rate than the rate paid to employees of the opposite gender for equal work (GA Code Sec. 34-5-1 et seq.). Jobs are considered equal when they require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and are performed under similar working conditions. The Act applies to all public employers and private employers with 10 or more employees. Employers may not lower the wage rate of an employee in order to comply with the Act.
Retaliation. The Act also prohibits retaliation against employees who complain about unlawful discriminatory practices or participate in the investigation or hearing of a claim under the Act.
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Pay differences between men and women are permissible if they are based on:
• A seniority system
• A merit system
• A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production
• A differential based on any factor other than sex
The Act requires that employers prominently display a copy of the law in the workplace. A copy of the required notice is available on the Georgia Department of Labor's website at http://www.dol.state.ga.us or by calling 404-232-3392.
Individuals alleging a violation of the Act may file private lawsuits in state court or submit their claims to arbitration to recover unpaid wages due them. Employees who file civil actions can recover the unpaid wages, court costs, and attorney's fees not to exceed 25 percent of the unpaid wage amount.
The Act is also enforced by the Georgia commissioner of labor, who has the power to attempt to eliminate violations of the Act by conciliation endeavors, to request the appearance of ...

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