The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) prohibits employers from discriminating between employees based on sex by paying wages to employees of one sex at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the other sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495et seq.). A difference in wages is lawful if it is based on:
• A system in which earnings are based on quantity or quality of production
• A bona fide factor other than sex
An employer that relies on a bona fide factor other than sex to explain a wage differential must be able to show that the factor:
• Does not perpetuate a sex-based differential in compensation,
• Is job-related with respect to the position in question, and
• Is based on a legitimate business consideration.
The law applies to all public and private employers in the state, including employment agencies and labor unions.
Employers are prohibited from reducing any employee's wage rate in order to comply with the law.