Gender discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown represent many clients on Long Island who are victims of unlawful workplace behaviors, policies, and practices. Sex or gender discrimination in employment is pervasive despite the many laws that exist to prevent it. Recently, compensation discrimination has been making headlines and drawing attention to the persistent pay disparity that exists between men and women.
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) are federal laws that make it unlawful to pay people of different genders unequally when they do the same work. The Equal Pay Act mandates that when men and women perform equal work in the same establishment, they must receive equal pay. The jobs do not need to be the same. They must require “substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility.”
Title VII prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on sex. Employment decisions include hiring, firing and compensating. Thus, under Title VII the gender of an employee may not be criteria for consideration when making a decision about their compensation. Paying men and women differently for their equal work can violate both Title VII and the EPA.
Despite the numerous laws requiring equal pay for equal work, according to federal research, a significant pay disparity still exists between men and women in the United States. In 2014 a typical full-time working woman earned only 79% of what a typical full-time working man earned. For some women of color, the gap is even larger. According to the National Women’s Law Center, African-American women earn 63 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man earns. Latina women earn 54 cents.
In June 2016, The White House asked that businesses sign an “Equal Pay Pledge” in an attempt to continue making strides toward eliminating the pay gap and advancing equal pay rights. By signing the pledge, businesses agree to the following:
“We believe that businesses must play a critical role in reducing the national pay gap. Towards that end, we commit to conducting an annual company-wide gender pay analysis across occupations; reviewing hiring and promotion processes and procedures to reduce unconscious bias and structural barriers, and embedding equal pay efforts into broader enterprise-wide equity initiatives. We pledge to take these steps as well as identify and promote other best practices that will close the national wage gap to ensure fundamental fairness for all workers.”
A company that signs the pledge agrees to conduct a yearly gender pay analysis and review business processes with the admirable goal of closing the pay gap between genders.
As of August 26, 2016, more than 50 companies across the nation signed the White House pledge and promised to join the effort to eliminate unequal compensation.
This “conglomerate of employer representatives is being called Employers for Pay Equity.” Their mission statement says,
“The Employers for Pay Equity consortium is comprised of companies that understand the importance of diversity and inclusion, including ensuring that all individuals are compensated equitably for equal work and experience and have an equal opportunity to contribute and advance in the workplace. We are committed to collaborating to eliminate the national pay and leadership gaps for women and ethnic minorities. Toward that end, we have come together to share best practices in compensation, hiring, promotion, and career development as well as develop strategies to support other companies’ efforts in this regard. By doing so, we believe we can have a positive effect on our workforces that, in turn, makes our companies stronger and delivers positive economic impact. ”
This historical collaboration can go far toward eliminating the pay gap that continues discriminate against the hard working women across the country. The businesses getting involved in this process have a wealth of knowledge to share with one another and by combining their efforts may continue to move the compensation needle toward equality.
Employment discrimination attorneys at Leeds Brown can help if you have been the victim of sex discrimination at work. If you have been sexually harassed, been denied a promotion or received unequal pay because of your gender, contact our New York City area employment lawyers. We have decades of experience helping employees secure compensation and other remedies they deserve after unlawful discrimination causes financial and emotional injuries.
Contact New York gender discrimination lawyers today at 1-800-585-4658 for a free case evaluation.