Is It Against The Law To Pay Men More Than Women?

  • Matt Scott
  • Thursday, August 1st, 2019

This is a question that does not have a simple answer since there can be many factors in play that have a direct bearing in the answer. According to the Equal Pay Act of 1970, it is unlawful for an employer to pay a man more than a woman. While this was superseded by the Equality Act of 2010, the basis remains the same; when two people of different genders are performing the same job under the same conditions, they are supposed to be paid the same wage.

While this is true, there is a variable and one should be clear about that, especially if they plan to take legal action against an employer based on this legislation.

When employers are going through the hiring process, they are told information that qualifies or disqualifies someone for the position in question. In some cases, this can have a huge impact on the amount that a person is paid. An example of this would be a woman hired for a position as an accountant.

If she has only one year of experience and has a Bachelor’s degree, she will likely get offered a lower salary than a man with four years of experience and an advanced degree. The pay gap would be based on skill rather than gender, so it is generally allowed.

There is also a chance that the female candidate was offered a salary and accepted it without trying to negotiate further, while the man leveraged his experience and took a chance at asking to be paid more. This means that while they are technically doing the same job at the same place under the same conditions, he will be paid more than she is and that is not against the law. If they had similar ability and educational background, then it would be unlawful to pay them different wages.