Exclusions to the Gender Discrimination Laws
There have been laws created and applied to help guarantee the same fair equal pay to women and men for the same job namely because women have always made such a lower comparable wage. Under these laws, a company can pay a gender a different rate, however there has to be certain criteria met.
If the job itself is not equal, as in one is more mentally or physically trying. If the experience or educational training is different, as well as the amount of responsibility involved in the job. Another un-equal point that can determine a different rate of pay would be work conditions, like the temperature and hazards dealt with while at work.
There are also criteria known as affirmative defenses that will also allow a company to pay gender a different rate. These defenses can be based off of merit, seniority, quality or quantity of work or any other reason beyond gender. The company will be required to prove the affirmative defenses if a problem should arise.
An example of a job that gender may be required would be one of a rape victim counselor for women. In many small settings that handle rape victims immediately after an attack would find it fairly hard with a male on staff. The women would feel vulnerable and most would not even be able to talk or be around a man at this time. Another example would be a job that required lifting 80 pounds or more. Assuredly very few women could meet this requirement however, one could argue it could be possible. Unless the job required the very differences that separate the genders, in all actuality, either sex could do any job.