Mark Buchanan Law Office

Equal Pay Act

We have substantial experience in prosecuting claims for violation of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, a federal law which requires employers to pay "equal pay for equal work." You may have a good claim for violation of the Act if you can show that you were:

      1.  Performing work which was substantially equal to that of the men, considering the skills, duties, supervision, effort and responsibilities of the job;

      2.  The conditions where the work was performed were basically the same;

      3.  The male employees were paid more under such circumstances.

      In considering whether you meet these factors, it is important to remember that minor differences in skill, or effort, or responsibility are not a defense.

      Once these three facts are shown, then the employer must prove that gender played no part in causing the wage disparity. Under the law, employers are allowed to raise almost anything as a "factor other than sex," – and many do. However, the employer has the burden of proving its defense, which is a heavy one.  The factor other than sex must be real, not contrived.  In other words, it cannot be just a convenient way to escape liability.

     We have the experience necessary to win these complex cases.  For example, in August 2006, we won an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in Mickelson v. New York Life Ins. Co., requiring our client’s claims of wage discrimination and retaliation to proceed to trial. Our experience in handling Equal Pay Act claims also includes trying the first case which resulted in an award of punitive damages in Kansas federal court for a woman who was fired for complaining of unequal pay, Merrill v. Cintas Corporation; and successfully assisting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in prosecuting claims against Swift Transportation Company for violation of the Act, in Meek v. Swift Transportation Company.