- Of Counsel
Are you a woman doing the same job as your male counterpart, but getting paid less to do it? If so, you may have a claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and/or the Federal Equal Pay Act (collectively referred to here as Equal Pay Act claims).
To prove an Equal Pay Act claim, you must establish that “unequal pay was given for the performance of work that is substantially equal to that performed by male employees.” Grigoletti v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation, 118 N.J. 89, 110 (1990). You need only establish that you are paid differentially with respect to a single male employee. So, even if there are other male employees who make the same or less than you, you may still have a valid claim as long as one male employee who is doing substantially equal work is paid more than you. It also does not matter if there are female employees who are paid as much as the highest paid males. “The fact that one member of a protected group is not a victim of discrimination does not preclude others in the group from prevailing on a discrimination claim.” Grigololetti, supra at 109.
“For purposes of establishing a prima facie case, it is the jobs, and not the individuals who held the jobs, that the Court must compare.” Dubowsky, supra at 990, citing Mulhall v. Advance Sec., Inc., 19 F.3d 586, 592 (11th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 919, 115 S.Ct. 298, 130 L.Ed.2d 212 (1994). “The main determining factor in the ‘substantial equality’ of the jobs is whether the jobs involve ‘a common core of tasks’.” Ibid. Factors to be considered include similar quality and quantity of production, education, relevant prior work experience, conduct and skill. Ibid., citing 29 C.F.R. §1620.13. “To prevail in an EPA action, the jobs must be ‘substantially equal’ in terms of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.” Id at 473.
“When a plaintiff establishes that she has performed substantially equal work for unequal pay, a strong inference of discrimination is created” under the EPA. Grigoletti v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp., 118 N.J. 89, 109 (1990). The burden then shifts to the employer to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the wage disparity is the result of one of four factors: (1) a seniority system; (2) a merit system; (3) a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (4) a differential based on any factor other than sex.
Certain employees are exempt from the requirement to pay overtime wages for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week, but most employees are entitled to time and a half for all overtime hours worked. We can help you determine if your position is exempt or non-exempt under the wage and hour laws. Whether under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or the NJ State Wage and Hour Law, we are equipped to analyze your potential wage claim. The attorneys also handle claims under the NJ Prevailing Wage Act for employees who are engaged in public works projects.
On January 1, 2024, reporting requirements under the Corporate Transparency Act ("Act"), went into effect. All businesses subject to the Act will have to report specific information on the company and certain individuals that own and/or control the company. Mason, Griffin & Pierson is happy to guide you through this reporting process and answer any questions that you may have. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like our assistance.
Congratulations to Sharon A. Dragan for receiving the Michael A. Pane Ethics In Government Award. The award was presented by the NJILGA at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities November convention. The Michael A. Pane Ethics In Government Award honors a municipal professional who exemplifies the highest standards of ethics and whose work has significantly enhanced the integrity of local government. November 2023 The Michael Pane Award, established by the Pane Family and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, is given in honor of Michael A. Pane, Sr., who was the long-time editor of the Municipal Law Review, president and trustee of the New Jersey Institute of Municipal Attorneys, counsel to the New Jersey Association of Municipal Clerks, counsel to the League of Municipalities and author of the New Jersey Practice Series, Local Government Law volumes.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey appointed Elizabeth Zuckerman to serve on the District Ethics Committee for District VII (DEC VII) for a three-year term. The district includes Mercer County. August 23, 2023
We are pleased to announce the election of Paul M. Bishop to the Board of Directors, Mason, Griffin & Pierson, PC. Paul, one of the firm’s senior litigators, practices business, commercial, and general litigation, and represents clients in complex disputes throughout New Jersey’s state and federal courts. July 2023