Equal pay has been the law for 51 years. This one is supposed to allow people to ask how much other people get paid. And sue if the employee found she were making less than another employee. If I were working now and anyone asked how much I made, I’d tell them, “It’s none of your d@mn business.” There are so very many reasons why Employee A might be being paid less than Employee B when they’re doing the same job on paper.
What makes it different is different people, with different skills, different interests, different ambitions… And that applies to anyone regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, what-have-you. Even two people doing the exact same job on paper will do it differently and may garner different compensation. Employee A and Employee B have been on the job for the same amount of time. They have the same experience. They started at the same rate. But Employee A does the very minimum required. Employee A clocks in and out exactly on time every day. Employee A never volunteers for special projects. Employee A grumbles whenever asked to do something that isn’t in the job description. Employee B shows initiative. Employee B asks for training in other aspects of the job. Employee B volunteers for special projects and doesn’t mind covering for another employee out sick or on vacation. Employee will stay a few minutes late to get the job done instead of leaving it until the morning. Employee A doesn’t deserve a pay cut, but there should be no issue with giving Employee B a raise. Or giving an annual increase at the bottom of the range to Employee A, and giving an increase at the top of the range to Employee B.
The above is the same regardless of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, or whatever “protected” status one might fall into. What I hate is when people are “protected” and then behave like Employee A above, because they can. Then, if there’s any adverse action to the employee, the employee can sue and say it’s due to his or her protected status. All the costs to defend are on the Employer. Even if the adverse action (no raise/promotion, less of a raise, whatever) had no connection to the status, but to the actions (or non-actions) of the employee.