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Miniature wood broken ladder and miniature people sitting on the pile of coins. The concept of economic inequality. By Hyejin Kang/Shutterstock Photo: Hyejin Kang via Shutterstock

Employers defending against claims by persons aggrieved by what they believe to be unfair differentials in compensation may confront two theories of liability. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), by its terms and title, requires equal pay for “equal work on jobs, the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibilities, which are performed under similar working conditions,” subject to certain exceptions. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) prohibits, less apparently, “discriminat[ion] against any individual with respect to his [or her] compensation … because of such individual’s … sex.” While the narrower goal of the EPA is reflected in the broader goals of Title VII, the proofs and defenses for each intersect and diverge by equal measure, demanding forethought and agility in litigation.

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