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

The Georgia Equal Pay Act prohibits an employer from discriminating on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees of one sex at a rate less than the rate at which it pays wages to employees of the opposite sex for equal work, within any establishment in which the employees 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.
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. Civil actions must be filed within 1 year after the discrimination occurs. Employees who file civil actions can recover the unpaid wages, court costs, and attorneys’ fees not to exceed 25 percent of the unpaid wage amount.
The Act is also ...

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