Sense vs. Cents: Why Equal Pay Matters

You wouldn’t let an ATM short change you thousands of dollars, so why let your employer get away with the same crime year after year? Equal pay for equal work is a controversial topic that is now a hot button issue for gender rights. Here’s what you need to know about the current gender pay gap crisis in America and how you can take a role in ensuring pay equality in your workplace.

Closing the Gap

Equal rights are a concept virtually everyone agrees on but putting that consensus into action seems to be falling directly into the gender pay gap abyss. Of course, women have made incredible strides in the workforce since the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, but more than 50 years later, the dollars still aren’t adding up. In today’s economy, the average full-time working woman is only earning 78 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to the White House. Until that pay gap is finally slammed shut, sexual discrimination in the workplace will be alive and well.

Taking Action

California lawmakers are taking action to give employees new protection from this form of discrimination. As of January 1st, 2016, the California Fair Pay Act requires businesses to justify any disparities in pay between men and women performing “substantially similar” tasks. When an employee files a wage discrimination claim, the burden of proof lies on the employer to show that any wage differential is not gender-based. The law goes a step further, by protecting women from retaliation if they ask about the fairness of their pay.

Encouraging Change

It’s time for this call to action to start adding up into actual dollars. When you see blatant examples of gender pay gaps, report them to your human resources department, union representative, or an employment attorney. Speaking up can improve conditions for you now and the future generations of working adults. Remember, at some point, your boss made the decision to pay equal employees differently and now you can make the decision to right that wrong.

Protecting Your Rights

There may be times when you don’t feel comfortable reporting a potential violation at work to superiors or HR managers. If you feel you’re being short-changed at your company due to sexual discrimination, contact an employment lawyer immediately to learn your rights. Carter Law Firm offers free consultations that can inform and empower you to make the best decision for your case.