What employees can do if they suspect pay discrimination

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2019 | Uncategorized |

It is no secret that there is still a substantial pay gap between men and women. In Texas, white women have an average annual income of $40,000 and white men make an average of $60,000. Women of color receive even less pay, with incomes averaging closer to $30,000.

The pay gap still impacts many female employees around Texas, but how do you know if you truly make less than your coworkers? And how can you prove it?

Know your rights

There are many federal laws that outline employees’ rights against pay discrimination. Three important ones to remember are:

  • The Equal Pay Act (EPA): This act directly forbids pay discrimination based on sex or gender.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: This act prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on sex, age, race and more protected statuses.
  • National Labor Relations Act (NLRA): The NLRA does not directly address pay discrimination, but it does provide employees with the right to discuss and take action against unfair practices in the workplace.

Understanding your rights is the first step to recognizing pay discrimination in your workplace. 

Speak with coworkers you trust

Regardless of what an employer might say, you have a right to discuss your salary with your colleagues. The NLRA protects that right. Talking with coworkers who complete work equal to your own can help you gather solid evidence of pay disparities. 

These conversations can feel uncomfortable, but they are important. Speaking with coworkers you trust can reduce your stress and help you collect reliable proof.

Document evidence of the disparity

If you suspect pay discrimination, it is essential to record any evidence, including:

  • All of your financial forms and agreements, including pay stubs and tax forms
  • Any evidence collected from conversations with coworkers
  • A personal record of your own work
  • A report to Human Resources
  • A possible claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

This clear trail of evidence can only help you in the long run to obtain the equal pay you deserve.

The gender pay gap is still a widespread issue across the country. However, every time someone stands up to discrimination and inequality in the workplace, we move closer to closing that gap. 


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