Tuesday, November 23, 2004

No Equal Pay Act claim despite similar job titles and similar general duties

Yesterday in Wheatley v. Wicomico County, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Wilkinson, joined by Judge Luttig and District Judge Hudson, held that the plaintiffs had not proven a violation of the Equal Pay Act, concluding that: "plaintiffs present a classic example of how one can have the same title and the same general duties as another employee, and still not meet two textual touchstones of the EPA — equal skills and equal responsibility."

After explaining that some of the other department director jobs required advanced degrees, unlike the plaintiffs' positions, the Court noted: "to accept plaintiffs’ position would mean that although market demand for different skills may vary greatly, the salaries that employers pay for such skills must be the same."

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