Arkansas Equal Pay/Comparable Worth laws & HR compliance analysis

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

The Arkansas Equal Pay Law requires employers to pay equal compensation for equal services (AR Code Ann. Sec. 11-4-601 et seq.). Employers are prohibited from discriminating against any employee in wages or compensation solely based on the employee's sex. Contracts under which an employee agrees to accept a lower rate of pay in violation of the equal pay law are void and unenforceable.
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Under the law, it is unlawful for an employer to:
• Pay any female employee a salary or wage rate less than the rate paid to male employees for comparable work.
• Discharge or otherwise retaliate against any employee who has made a complaint, started proceedings, testified, or is planning to testify in any such proceeding.
The law applies to all employers in the state, regardless of size. It does not apply to those engaged in domestic service in the home of the employer, agricultural service, temporary or seasonal employment, or employees of any nonprofit social club or charitable organization.
Variations in rates of pay are permitted when based on seniority, experience, training, skill, ability, duties and services performed, shifts worked, or any other reasonable differentiation except difference in sex.
The Arkansas Civil Rights Act does not expressly prohibit compensation discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, gender, or disability. However, at least one court has ruled that the Act “encompasses the right to be paid for employment without discrimination” (Broadus v. O.K. Indus., Inc., 226 F.3d 937 (8th Cir. 2000)).
Under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, the federal fair employment laws were amended so that ...

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