Louisiana’s scaled-down pay law goes into effect August 1

by David Theard

Louisiana’s Equal Pay for Women Act (EPWA), which applies only to public-sector employers, goes into effect August 1. The new law affirms that paying unequal wages to public employees on the basis of sex is discriminatory and violates public policy.

The original bill would have covered both public- and private-sector employees, but it was amended to cover only employees who work for a department, office, division, agency, commission, board, committee, or other organizational unit of the state.

The law’s impact is slight. The Louisiana Constitution already prohibits gender discrimination against public employees, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law prohibit employers from considering gender when determining pay.

Under the EPWA, only women can sue. To make a claim, a woman must show that a male employee has the same job, works for the same agency, and is paid more because of his sex.

The law permits paying opposite-sex employees different wages under a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings based on quantity or quality of production, or a differential based on a bona fide reason other than sex (e.g., education, training, or experience). The EPWA prohibits employers from reducing the wages of other employees to comply with the Act.

The law was covered in more detail in the July issue of Louisiana Employment Law Letter.

David Theard is an associate in the New Orleans office of Jones Walker LLP. He can be reached at 504-582-8402 or dtheard@joneswalker.com.

About Louisiana Employment Law Letter:
Excerpted from Louisiana Employment Law Letter written by attorneys at the law firm of Jones Walker. LOUISIANA EMPLOYMENT LAW LETTER does not attempt to offer solutions to individual problems but rather to provide information about current developments in Louisiana employment law. Questions about individual problems should be addressed to the employment law attorney of your choice. The State Bar of Louisiana does not designate attorneys as board certified in labor law. Contact the attorneys at Jones Walker.
Bookmark and Share Send to a Colleague

Currently there are no comments related to this article. You have a special honor to be the first commenter. Thanks!

Leave a Reply