Some female employees in Texas may discover that their employers pay their male counterparts more for the same positions. While some reasons for the difference in pay scale may be justified, others are not.

A recent court case involved a female teacher who sued her employer because her pay was significantly lower than male teachers who held identical positions within the same district. While the school did not deny that this was so, it asserted that her pay was based upon a prior position she had held in another district. The school maintained that it had not broken any laws because the disparity in pay did not appear to be based upon gender alone. However, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The Ninth Circuit said the employer relied on salary the woman received at a former position, which may not have been related to factors concerning her job. Instead, her prior salary could have been associated with carry-over discrimination.

Employment laws vary from state to state. As per the Equal Pay Act of 1963, however, federal law offers protection for women who hold the same positions with congruent responsibilities, skills and effort as men. Although some states provide few, if any, protection for gender-based discrimination in the workplace, Texas has provisions in place for equal pay rights.

Federal and state employment laws can be difficult to navigate and confusing for those who believe they may be facing payment discrimination. While legislators may enact laws to protect workers, interpretation of laws can be tricky. It may help to speak with an employment lawyer who can review the details to discover if there is evidence of any gender-discrimination. With help from legal counsel, a victim could move forward with a legal complaint.