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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Youth at Work

15. Jack and Jill work as cashiers at a local fast food restaurant. They were hired at the same time, have similar work experience, perform the same work duties, and work the same hours. Jill learns that Jack is paid one dollar an hour more than she is paid. When Jill complains to her manager, he lowers Jack’s pay so that it is equal to Jill’s pay. Did the manager discriminate against Jill?

  1. No. Wage differences are illegal only where the difference in pay is substantial. A one dollar hourly wage difference is not a substantial difference.
  2. Yes. The EEOC can sue the company for paying Jack more than it pays Jill, where Jack and Jill perform the same tasks, but only if Jill continues to work at the restaurant until the lawsuit is over.
  3. No. The restaurant has not discriminated against Jill because it immediately fixed the problem when it learned that Jack and Jill were not earning the same wages.
  4. Yes. The EEOC may sue the company for discriminating against Jill by paying her less than Jack.