Vermont Equal Pay/Comparable Worth laws & HR compliance analysis

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

The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act 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. 495 et seq.). A difference in wages is lawful if it is based on:
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• A seniority system
• A merit system
• 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.
It is unlawful for an employer to:
• Require employees to refrain from disclosing or discussing the amount of their wages or from asking about or discussing the wages of other employees, and
• Require an employee to sign a waiver of his or her right to discuss wages.
Employers are prohibited from making employment conditional on an applicant's or employee's agreement not to disclose or discuss his or her wages (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495(7)(B)).
Retaliation is prohibited against an employee who actually has, or is perceived to have, disclosed or discussed wage information. The law allows employers to prohibit disclosure of ...

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