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Los Angeles Unequal Pay Lawyer

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Los Angeles Unequal Pay Lawyer

Los Angeles Unequal Pay Attorney

California has numerous laws in place, like the Equal Pay Act, that attempt to fight wage discrimination for marginalized groups. Unfortunately, many individuals are still victims of unequal pay. If you suspect that you are not being compensated in a manner similar to others in similar roles, contact a Los Angeles unequal pay lawyer to understand your options.

Big Firm Experience, Small Firm Feel

Emanuel Shirazi has represented clients in a variety of different employment-related situations. He has experience in cases regarding employment discrimination, wage inequality, wrongful termination, and more. His wealth of knowledge in employment law can help you figure out the right steps to take in your unequal pay claim.

At Shirazi Law Firm, PC, we understand that every case is different. We approach each claim with individual attention. Then, we develop a detailed plan to achieve results. Let Shirazi Law Firm, PC, help you stand up to an employer to get the compensation you deserve.

What Is Unequal Pay?

Unequal pay, sometimes referred to as pay discrimination, occurs if an employee is paid less money for the same job as their coworkers based on protected characteristics like race, ethnicity, and sex. If you find that your salary is different from your coworkers who are of a different background than you, and you both perform similar responsibilities, you might be able to file an unequal pay claim. The following criteria are used to determine the similarity of a specific job:

  • Skill Level: If a job requires the same level of experience, degree, or training to perform as another, then they match in skill level.
  • Effort: This attribute refers to how much physical or mental energy an employee needs to exert to do their job.
  • Responsibility: Another way to evaluate the similarity of two different jobs includes how much responsibility or decision-making power each employee has.

These elements make it easier to directly compare two roles and determine if two employees are performing similar work. These criteria apply even if the two job titles are substantially different.

Additionally, there are different types of pay discrimination that do not strictly address wages. Employee benefit packages that include things like health insurance or retirement benefits are also included in equal pay legislation. If an employee is not given training or advancement opportunities that other employees have, based on their job role, this could also be seen as unequal pay because these opportunities can increase an employee’s future pay.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

Every unequal pay claim needs to prove that the two jobs in question are similar in skill, effort, and responsibility levels. This can be difficult to prove, especially if both roles look superficially different. Working with an attorney can help you prove that the work you perform every day is similar to another’s work.

Some industries, especially those where the majority of employees are one particular race and/or sex, discriminate more often than others. If you are a minority in your industry and suspect that you are being compensated unfairly, consult with an employment discrimination attorney to determine if you have the grounds to file an unequal pay claim.

Exceptions to Equal Pay Legislation

The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay their workers equally, regardless of their race, sex, or other protected characteristics. However, there are exceptions to this rule that might affect your ability to file a claim, including:

  • Seniority: Some companies have strict processes that determine pay based on an employee’s tenure with their company. If a company has an established seniority system, it might be exempt from some unequal pay claims.
  • Merit: Pay based on an employee’s level of performance does not typically apply to equal pay legislation. This also applies to certain roles that pay their employees based on the number of pieces they produce or how many products or services they sell.
  • Location: Two similar roles might have different pay rates based on where they are located. This is often intended to compensate for the different costs of living in those areas.


Q: What Is the Unequal Pay Law in California?

A: In Los Angeles, if a person is performing a job that is similar to another person, based on skill level, effort, and responsibility, then they should be paid the same, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics. If one is being paid more than the other, this could qualify as unequal pay. This is true even if your employer does not realize the discrepancy. Two jobs do not necessarily have to have the same titles to be similar.

Q: How Do You Prove Pay Discrimination or Unequal Pay?

A: To prove unequal pay, an individual must show that they are being paid less than another individual who is doing similar work. The other individual must be of a different race, ethnicity, or sex than the individual filing a claim. If these two things can be proven, then the employee can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or California’s Department of Industrial Relations.

Q: Can Two Employees Doing the Same Job Be Paid Differently?

A: In certain cases, two employees performing the same job but being paid differently can be interpreted as unequal pay. In other cases, however, the pay discrepancy might be justified. If the two employees are performing at different skill or responsibility levels, then it might not be considered wage inequality. For example, two managers supervising different amounts of employees might be paid differently based on how many people they are responsible for.

Q: What Did the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Do?

A: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was established in 2009. Under the act, individuals who are victims of pay discrimination can file a Title VII complaint. The act gets rid of the filing period deadline that applies to other discrimination claims, as each paycheck that an employee gets is considered an additional act of discrimination. Contact an employment attorney to determine how long you have to file an unequal pay claim.

Protect Your Rights

Standing up against your employer can be scary. Let Shirazi Law Firm, PC, support you in your claim to fight for fair compensation. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about unequal pay claims.



Founder Emanuel Shirazi is an employment lawyer in Los Angeles representing employees who have been legally wronged by their employers. In addition to representing employees, Mr. Shirazi used to defend employers while he worked at the largest employment law firms in the country. Thus, Mr. Shirazi knows the tricks of the trade of the other side and will use that to your advantage in your case. Mr. Shirazi’s experience helps him anticipate your employer’s defense and prepare accordingly.