When you’re a woman, you may be distinctly aware that you have to ask for better pay to get it. You can’t rely on your employer to pay you equally, because the gender pay gap continues to be problematic. You know, though, that asserting your right to equitable and fair pay may put a target on your back if your employer is offended and retaliatory.
In 2021, it was determined that women make, on average, only $0.82 per dollar that men make. It’s illegal for your employer to retaliate against you when you bring up sexism or unfair pay, but that doesn’t mean that retaliation doesn’t happen.
What should you do if you think your company is illegally retaliating against you?
Now is a good time to start documenting every interaction you have as well as the past interactions that may have led to workplace retaliation. For example, you could write down the dates you asked your supervisor to address the pay gap between you and a male employee doing the same job with the same company history or the times you brought up the subject during reviews and the response you received.
The Equal Pay Act requires your employer to pay men and woman equal pay for equal work. If you bring this up to your employer with evidence that you are not being paid fairly and then start to receive negative reviews or changes to your schedule that negatively impact your work, you may have a claim for discrimination and retaliation.
If you believe that you’re being retaliated against for wanting to talk about your pay and how it measures up to what others are receiving, keep all of your documentation ready. If you are wrongfully terminated, take all evidence you can with you, so that you can have that prepared for your attorney.
Get the help you need to prove retaliation occurred
It isn’t always easy to prove that you’re receiving unfair pay, but if you have evidence, witness testimonies and other information to support your case, you may be able to take steps to hold your employer accountable for treating you unfairly compared to your male colleagues.