Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a United States federal law amending the Fair Labor Standards Act, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex (known as the gender pay gap).  The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay men and women equal pay for equal work.  This includes all forms of pay including hourly rates, salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, and other benefits.  The work performed by the men and women does not have to be identical, but they must be substantially equal in skill, effort, and responsibility.


“Since passage of the Equal Pay Act, several generations of women have transformed our workplaces and, in turn, our economy. Women have integrated many previously exclusively male job fields, and have achieved success at the highest levels of many fields.  Women have achieved higher levels of education than ever before, and now serve at the highest levels of government, the judiciary, in Congress, and in private industry. They have become important sources of job creation, entrepreneurship, and innovation. This progress notwithstanding, in 2011, the average woman still earned only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.”  Fifty Years After the Equal Pay Act, Assessing the Past, Taking Stock of the Future, National Equal Pay Task Force, June 2013 (The White House, Washington, D.C.).


Currently, Burr & Smith with co-counsel represents thousands of women in a collective action for Equal Pay Act claims against one of the world’s largest jewelry chains, Sterling Jewelers Inc. Read about Jock v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. here.

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