Laws about equal pay for equal work regardless of gender have been on the books for years. But for Texas women specifically, the question of pay equity remains a difficult one. Last year a study by the Dallas Women’s Foundation reported that if things continue the way they are going, it might take until 2049 for equal pay to exist in Texas.
How do the current laws for equal pay work?
There are a number of laws regarding pay equity in the U.S. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits pay discrimination because of a person’s gender. To prove a claim the employee must show a man and woman’s unequal pay, while working for the same employer and doing the same job.
However, the act creates complexities with its inclusiveness. In some circumstances, it does allow for different pay due to other factors besides gender, such as production and seniority.
The status of Texas women’s pay
Last year a study documented the national gender pay gap ratio based on data from the 25 largest cities in the U.S. The American Association of University Women, a non-profit supporting gender equality, carried out the study. It found Houston ranked tenth in the nation in gender pay gap. Two other Texas cities placed in the top ten. San Antonio came in fifth and Dallas seventh.
The study also found that in Houston Hispanic women make approximately 53% of what a white man would make. This was also a recent subject on our blog.
Overall, the average amount a woman makes in Houston is just over 80% of what a man makes. Clearly there is still a long way to go for pay equity in Texas. With Texas ranking 34th in the nation for women in poverty, this is an issue that is seriously affecting many women across the state.
If you are a woman, waiting for the pay gap to close is an unfair result of societal inequality. A skilled employment law attorney can help you to assert your rights under the current and often confusing pay equity laws in place now.