According to a CNN report, employers are expected to raise pay by more than four percent in the next year, the highest jump in nearly two decades. But that doesn’t match inflation, which is currently more than seven percent. This means that workers are effectively earning less. If you’re producing strong work and not being given a raise, the reason may be related to unlawful pay disparity.

What Pay Disparity Is and How It Affects You

Pay disparity refers to the unequal distribution of wages among different individuals or groups of workers. It exists when some employees, often those belonging to specific demographics and/or classifications, are paid less than others for doing the same type of work. Pay disparity can be based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other factor resulting in an employer paying different wages to employees. This inequality has been a persistent and pervasive issue since the beginning of the industrial era. Most importantly, however, it constitutes employment discrimination – and it’s illegal.

The effects of a pay disparity can be devastating to workers who not just feel but in reality may be deprived of their fair share of compensation. Those effects, include, for example, feelings of inequity, decreased morale, and dissatisfaction with overall job experience, all of which may lead an employee to seek out different and better opportunities elsewhere. When this happens, employers lose valuable talent and knowledge that contributes to company productivity and success.

The Role of Pay Transparency

In recent years, pay transparency has become an important topic and has prompted city and state action. More specifically, many cities and states now require employers to include a pay range in job descriptions and provide protections for workers who discuss their wages openly and with one another. One rationale for pay transparency is to reduce inequality between workers by giving them a better understanding of how their organization’s pay scale works. Another motivator is to allow for more accurate comparisons between salaries and across different companies in the same industry; this can help to identify possible disparities.

At its core, pay transparency empowers workers by giving them more control over their financial destinies and ensuring that everyone is paid fairly for their work. Wage unfairness and discrimination can be eliminated when employees know exactly how much other individuals earn compared to themselves, yielding a more productive workplace overall.

Sommers Schwartz Fights for Fair Pay

If you are being paid less than your colleagues who hold similar positions as you and there’s no legitimate business reason supporting the compensation disparity, you may have a cause of action against your employer for pay discrimination. Confronting an employer can be scary, but know that the law protects you, and your employer cannot retaliate against you for filing a claim against them, no matter the outcome. They also cannot retaliate against you for speaking with a lawyer for guidance and insight on your specific pay disparity.

Contact a Sommers Schwartz fair pay attorney today to confidentially discuss your case and learn how we can help.