Gender Inequality, Unemployment, and Raising Awareness for the Gender Pay Gap
Equal Pay Day lands on March 24, 2021 this year. The National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) created Equal Pay Day in 1996 to raise awareness about the gender pay gap. The gender pay gay is defined as the difference between men and women’s unemployment rates. In the year 2021, on average, women make 82 cents on the dollar for what a white, non-Hispanic man makes.
When you consider the high cost of living that every American of every gender faces today, this difference is certainly staggering. It means that women would need to work about 25% more than men to make up the difference. Equal Pay Day is meant to raise awareness about this difference and fight for change. The date symbolizes how far into the year the average woman must work in order to earn what the average man earned in the previous year. The National Committee on Equal Pay Equity (NCPE) created the holiday with the following goals in mind:
- To provide information about the reasons for pay inequality
- To inform the public on equal pay and raise awareness on the problem of unequal pay
- To provide a platform to share knowledge about equal pay and equal pay day campaigns
- To create awareness of the problem
- To provide and create multipliers and supporters with helpful information
- To identify implementation strategies for closing the wage gap
- To close the gender pay gap
- To display strategies through which to close the gender pay gap
- To encourage the closure of the gender pay gap
How Is the Equal Pay Act Enforced?
The Equal Pay Act was signed by President Kennedy in 1963 as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The law mandates equal pay for equal work and forbids employers from paying men and women different wages or benefits for jobs that require the same level of skillset and responsibilities. Esther Peterson, head of the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor, was a major advocate of this legislation. Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady, was passionate about this reform as well. In fact, Roosevelt chaired Kennedy’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.
Another landmark law that followed the passing of the Equal Pay Act was the famous Civil Rights Act of 1964. This banned employers from discriminating on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” If an employer is found guilty of violating the Equal Pay Act or the Civil Rights Act, they can be held liable for compensatory damages. Unfortunately, many of these cases are proven retroactively and after already affecting the wellbeing of American employees. If this were not the case, we would not have the need for holidays like Equal Pay Day. For many victims of wage discrimination, it takes the help of an experienced and skilled employment law attorney to hold employers accountable.
Can You Sue Your Employer for Pay Discrimination?
Pay discrimination occurs when employees who perform similar work do not receive similar pay, or when the difference in pay is unlawfully based on characteristics like race or sex. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and genetic information.
If you believe you are being treated unfairly or paid unequally on the job due to discrimination, the employment law attorneys on our team can help you cut out the middleman. When you find yourself in an unfair situation like this, the last thing you want to do is fill out an unfamiliar form with a job discrimination complaint and wait for a government agency like the EEOC to get back to you. Instead, our lawyers can help you take matters straight to the court.
In order to prove wage discrimination under the Equal Pay Act, we will need to prove that the job you are working is equal to the job held by a counterpart of the opposite sex and that you are not being paid the same. Proving that you are a victim of wage discrimination can help you earn the pay you deserve. We will help you gather the evidence necessary to build your case and present the facts in a professional manner that will work in your favor. By sticking up for yourself and the wages you deserve, you are sticking up for women across the country and doing your part to help close the gender pay gap. President Kennedy himself once said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” At Shellist Lazarz Slobin LLP, our job is to help you do exactly that.
(For more information about how women are impacted by the wage gap and student loan debt, visit Bankrate's article, "How are women affected by the student loan crisis?"
If you are a victim of wage discrimination, the team of employment law attorneys at Shellist Lazarz Slobin LLP can help. Give us a call at (713) 352-3433 or contact us online to begin fighting for the pay you deserve today.