Public and private employers in Alabama will not be able to pay an employee a lower wage rate than an employee of another sex or race within the same establishment earns for jobs that require equal skill, effort, education, experience, and responsibility and are performed under similar working conditions. The new law (2019 Act 519, HB 225) takes effect Sept. 1, 2019.
Permitted wage differential. Employers can pay employees at different wage rates if based on:
Salary history ban. Employers can’t refuse to interview, hire, promote, employ or otherwise retaliate against applicants who don’t provide their wage histories.
Nonretaliation. Employers are prohibited from discharging or discriminating against employees who:
Records. Employers must maintain a record of employees’ wages and wage rates, job classifications, and other terms and conditions of employment for three years.
Other state action. Alabama became the 49th state to enact equal pay legislation — Mississippi is the only state left without legislation. Many states have recently strengthened their equal pay laws by banning employers from using salary histories in compensation decisions.
Penalties. An employer violating the law may be liable to the employee for the wage difference — with interest — caused by the violation.
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