There may come a point in your career when you suspect (or know) that you’re being paid less than a male co-worker despite the fact that you have the same experience, knowledge and job responsibilities.
Rather than sit back and hope that things get better in the future, it’s important that you take action to protect your legal rights and ensure yourself of obtaining equal pay in the future.
Here’s what you should do:
- Collect more information: Simply suspecting that you’re paid less than your male co-workers isn’t good enough. After all, you could be wrong. You need to find out for sure that this is the case, such as by talking to your co-workers about your concerns. If you’re open and honest with them, they may be more than willing to help you by sharing their salary information.
- Understand the law: Regardless of the circumstances, if you’re working the same job as a male counterpart you should receive equal pay. This is outlined in the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963. Also, even if your employer had no intentions of paying you less, it doesn’t excuse them from discrimination.
- Talk to your supervisor: If you’re comfortable doing so, talk to your supervisor about your concerns by laying out the facts. They may understand your point of view and take the necessary action to make things right.
- Talk to the HR department: If you don’t get any answers from you supervisor, it’s time to discuss your concerns with the HR department. Be clear about what you’re asking and what you’re requesting. HR professionals are well aware that gender pay cap issues are still a very real threat in today’s modern age.
By taking these steps, you make it clear to your supervisor and employer that you’re not going to sit back and let them take advantage of you.
If you they’re unwilling to hear you out and pay you at the same rate as your male co-workers, it’s time to learn more about your legal rights. This often starts by filing a formal complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.