What Rights To Equal Pay Does An Executive Or A Professional Have In New York?
Under New York law, executives and professionals are considered employees. They have the same rights to equal pay as any employee in New York. These rights are quite broad, and they arise under both federal and state law.
The federal basis for equal pay is the Equal Pay Act. This federal statute prohibits almost all employers from discriminating, on the basis of gender, in compensation between employees performing “equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and which are performed under similar working conditions.” The Equal Pay Act permits unequal pay, however, where the disparity results from a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a differential based on any factor other than gender. The Equal Pay Act is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”).
The New York State Equal Pay Law, N.Y. Labor Law § 194, is considerably broader than the federal act.
The New York State Equal Pay Law states that no employee with status within one or more protected class or classes shall be paid a wage at a rate less than the rate at which an employee without status within the same protected class or classes in the same establishment is paid for: (i) equal work on a job the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which is performed under similar working conditions, or (ii) substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.
The State Equal Pay Law allows unequal pay where a payment is made pursuant to a differential based on: (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a bona fide factor other than status within one or more protected class or classes, such as education, training, or experience.
The New York State Equal Pay Law not only prohibits unequal pay based on gender, but also bans unequal pay based on numerous other protected categories. Specifically, under the State Equal Pay Law, the protected classes based on which employers may not discriminate in pay includes age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, and domestic violence victim status.
Further, successful plaintiffs under the New York State Equal Pay Act are entitled to recover not only the wages that they were improperly denied, but also liquidated damages equal to 200 percent of these underpayments of wages. In other words, you can recover triple damages under the New York Equal Pay Act.
If you are an executive or a professional in the New York City metro area and you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated or that your employer has discriminated against you in pay, call New York City Employment Lawyer David S. Rich at (347) 941-0760 today.