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Equal Rights Division Newsletter - March 21, 2022

Wage equality and the equal-pay provision

The equal-pay provision of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act makes it unlawful for employers to pay employees of different sexes unequal wages for equal or substantially similar work. Jobs do not need to be identical to be covered by the provision. Job content, not the job title, determines whether jobs are subject to the equal-pay provision. Read below to learn more.

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Job content determines coverage

Jobs are considered equal under the equal-pay provision if they require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility and are performed under substantially similar working conditions.

Equal skill is a measurement of the amount of experience, training, education, and ability needed to perform a job. Equal effort is a measurement of the amount of physical and mental exertion required to perform a job. And equal responsibility refers to the degree of accountability a worker has to the job.

Not every pay gap is a violation

Employers are not in violation of the equal-pay provision if factors such as seniority, merit, or commissions result in a pay disparity, regardless of the sex of the affected employees.

Know Your Rights

You have the right to be paid the same wages as an employee of the opposite sex if your job requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions within the same establishment.


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