Virginia Equal Pay/Comparable Worth laws & HR compliance analysis

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

The Virginia Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, within any establishment where the employees work, by paying employees at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility and that is performed under similar working conditions (VA Stat. Sec. 40.1-28.6 et seq.). Differentiations in wages are permissible only if they are based on:
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• A seniority or merit system;
• A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
• A differential based on any factor other than sex.
Unlike many state equal pay acts, the Virginia statute does not limit coverage to employers of any particular size. However, the Act states that it is applicable only to employers who are not covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA covers employers (including employment agencies and labor unions) engaged in interstate commerce, as well as hospitals, schools, public agencies, and most employers with a gross income over $500,000. Additional information is available.
An employee may bring a private lawsuit under the Virginia Equal Pay Act to recover up to twice the amount of wages that were wrongfully withheld. Such actions must be filed within 2 years of the date upon which the alleged pay discrimination occurred or was discovered.
Last reviewed July 2017.

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