BY: Jenna Sheena | IN: Employment Law
Paying different wages to employees of different genders for doing the same work is gender-based pay discrimination. This type of discrimination violates the Equal Pay Act (EPA), which states that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work. Examples can be found in many workplaces across the country, particularly in industries dominated by one gender, like tech.
Compensating workers solely based on their gender is illegal. Many workers choose not to share details about wages and salaries, and many employers have tried to claim that compensation information is confidential. However, it’s becoming clear that many companies have profited by discriminating against workers through unfair pay practices.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, while gender wage gaps are shrinking, women still make only 82 cents on the dollar compared to men. Various factors contribute to this discrepancy, including sex segregation in certain types of jobs and employers’ perceptions regarding what is valued as “women’s work” or “men’s work.” Employers also often set policies attempting to limit discussions of pay, something that’s increasingly becoming illegal and drawing back the curtain on wage gaps.
Sometimes, gender-based pay discrimination isn’t intentional – employers may offer different wages based on perceived qualifications without realizing the inherent gender bias involved. However, even unintentional pay disparities are illegal; employers must ensure that all workers are compensated fairly, regardless of gender identity.
Workers can file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if they believe they have been subject to discrimination due to their sex or any other protected factor under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Additionally, workers should know their state’s labor laws, as many states have equal pay regulations that protect workers’ rights further than what is provided under federal law.
But researching equal pay legislation on your own can be complex. The fight to close gender wage gaps has been ongoing for decades and will take more work. You can partner with a trusted legal advocate to fight for your rights and help you get the fair pay you deserve.
Cases involving gender-based pay disparities are often complicated, making fighting EPA violations against large companies difficult. Speak with one of our experienced employment discrimination attorneys – we can evaluate any alleged violations and craft a strong case on your behalf.
View all posts byJenna Sheena
As a member of the firm’s Employment Litigation team, Jenna helps clients who have been subjected to various types of discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, and wrongful discharge.