As discussed by Nicholas Casolaro in his blog post from August, the NH law which goes into effect January 1st relative to equal pay prevents employers from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex by paying employees of one sex at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the other sex for what the statute refers to as “equal work.” Such work requires “equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions” by both the employees of one sex and employees of the other sex.
The statute allows employers to pay employees of one sex at a lower rate than employees of a different sex if the decision is made pursuant to a seniority system, a merit or performance-based system, a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of protection, based on the employee’s expertise, differentials in the employees’’ shifts, or factors such as education, training, or experience. These exceptions give employers the necessary flexibility to make legitimate and reasonable pay decisions without having to look over their shoulders for discrimination claims.
However, employers should review their pay scales and salary schedules to ensure that pay differentials and considerations for raises and bonuses are based on merit-based, seniority, or other acceptable systems as recognized in the statute.
Remember to post the new mandatory poster which is now available for download on the NH Department of Labor website: http://www.nh.gov/labor/.