Effective August 1, 2019

A Bill To Prohibit Wage Discrimination

Governor Kay Ivey signed House Bill 225 (HB225) on June 11, 2019. It prohibits employers from “paying any of its employees at wage rates less than those paid to employees of another sex or race for substantially similar work when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, as specified.”

HB225 requires Alabama employers to:

  • Pay comparable rates for comparable work.
  • Maintain records that include wages, job classifications and other terms of employment for at least three years.
  • Refrain from terminating or otherwise retaliating against an employee who files charges based on alleged wage discrimination.
  • Allow employees to discuss wages with co-workers and encourage others to exercise their rights under HB225.

There are exceptions to this law. Employers may offer varying wages based on:

  • A seniority system.
  • A valid merit system.
  • A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production.
  • A bona fide factor other than sex or race, such as education, training, or experience.

However, if an employee can demonstrate that an alternative business practice would serve the same purpose without producing the wage differential, then these exceptions no longer apply.

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