Employers in Texas must comply with multiple federal laws to ensure that their employees are not victims of discriminatory pay practices. The Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Equal Pay Act form the foundation of fair pay practices. The employee rights established by these laws set the standards used to decide disputes between employers and employees.
For example, the Equal Pay Act describes how to determine if men and women at an organization hold comparable jobs. Duties, required effort, skill and responsibilities define the comparability of positions more than job titles. The EPA requires equal compensation for men and women performing comparable jobs within the same location. Cases involving a claim of unequal pay will hinge upon establishing the comparability of jobs.
The other federal laws expand employee rights to protect people from discrimination based on race, religion, age, national origin and disability as well as sex. Complaints based on violations of the ADA, ADEA or Title VII do not depend on people holding the same jobs. Discrimination that violates these laws could happen when employers pay women or minorities less than men or whites or if employers award higher compensation to people who head family households.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has the responsibility of investigating complaints from employees about workplace discrimination. An employee might wish to talk to an attorney before alerting the EEOC to a possible violation. An attorney could examine the evidence and prepare the complaint. An employer that has been the subject of a complaint could also consult an attorney. Legal counsel could help an employer defend against an unfair claim or adjust pay practices to comply with the law and resolve a complaint.