Effective September 1, 2019, the Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying an employee at a wage rate lower than the rate paid to employees of another sex or race for equal work within the same establishment on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, education, experience, and responsibility that are performed under similar working conditions (H.B. 225, June 11, 2019).
The law provides exceptions when the difference in pay is based on:
• A seniority system;
• A merit system;
• A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
• A differential based on any factor other than sex or race.
Effective September 1, 2019, employers are prohibited from refusing to interview, hire, promote, or employ a job applicant because the applicant does not provide his or her wage history. “Wage history” means the wages paid to a job applicant by his or her current or former employer. Retaliation by an employer against an applicant is also prohibited.
An employee who files a claim against his or her employer for a violation of the state equal pay law must demonstrate that:
• The employee was paid less than someone for equal work despite possessing equal skill, effort, education, experience, and responsibility; and
• The applicable wage schedule at issue was or is not correlated to any conditions permissible under the law.
Employers that violate either the equal pay or wage history provisions of the law are liable to the affected employee in an amount equal to the wages to which the employee was deprived because of the violation, plus interest.
If an employee recovers an amount under the state equal pay law and also recovers an amount under federal law, ...