Though the U.S. has made progress toward gender equality, the pay gap persists. In 2019, women earned 79 cents to every dollar that men earned. And women’s incomes plateau earlier than men’s do, exacerbating their economic disadvantage.
You may have discovered that you’re paid less than male coworkers in similar positions and with similar qualifications. Under the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963, this is illegal. This law outlawed sex-based wage discrimination.
But some employers find ways of flouting these laws. These rights can help you if you find your employer engages in wage discrimination.
Your employer might try and reduce your male colleagues’ earnings to make them appear equal to yours. They could also increase your income through bonus pay. These methods might make your earnings look the same on paper, regardless of total wages. But they’re against the law. Your employer could face punishment if it engages in these practices.
You might receive less pay than a male colleague who has your same job title. If both roles require the same ability, education, experience and training, then by law they must provide the same compensation. These skills depend on the job’s description, not on the assets each employee brings to the table.
You must receive equal wages to your male colleagues if you require the same supervision as they do. This is also true if you’re vested the same supervising power as they are. If one of you has greater responsibilities than the other, then their wage could reflect that. But small differences in responsibility can still qualify as equal under the law.
The U.S. has made strides toward achieving gender parity. Yet wage discrimination remains common. If you find that you’re earning less than your male colleagues, working with an employment lawyer can help you assert your legal right to equal pay.