Although there are fewer barriers to female employment than there used to be, women in many industries still don’t receive the same treatment as their male coworkers. Not only may women struggle to secure the same advancement opportunities as their male peers, they also receive lower wages despite having the same level of job responsibility and performing similar duties.
The persistent wage gap between the sexes is one of the most concerning forms of sexism in the modern workplace. For working women to challenge this issue and receive the wages they deserve, they need to know their rights.
Women have a lawful right to equal pay
Federal law has long protected the right of women in the workplace to expect the same wage as their male coworkers. Unfortunately, the practices employed by many companies often lead to workers receiving unequal and unfair compensation.
For example, male employees could be more likely to get raises when they seek them and might also receive larger raises than their female coworkers. They may even start out at the same position with a higher starting wage despite no major discrepancy in education or experience when compared with the female worker in question.
For a woman who suspects she does not earn what her male coworkers do to prove her case, she needs to know what other people earn for the same work. Unfortunately, many businesses try to trick female workers into giving up their rights by misleading them. Companies frequently include employment rules and training that specifically state that workers cannot discuss their wages with one another.
However, communicating about wages is it crucial right protected as part of the right to unionize with other employees. Companies cannot penalize workers for inquiring about what other employees make or sharing their wages. Female workers should not let company policy about wage confidentiality deter them from exploring their belief that the company has compensated them unfairly.
Punishment for asserting one’s rights is retaliation
If a company actually punishes a female employee, possibly by demoting or terminating her, for either sharing wage information with coworkers or raising questions about why she earns less than male teammates, the actions on the part of the business may constitute illegal retaliation.
Female workers denied fair wages or punished for speaking up about unequal pay may have the right to bring a claim against the company that employs them. Learning more about wage rights and employment laws can benefit those who are thinking about fighting back against potentially unfair company practices.