We've been hearing a lot of talk about Gender Pay Discrimination in the media lately, and the reality of the situation is becoming front page news. You may now be wondering; "can I sue my employer for gender pay discrimination?" The fact of the matter is that in 1963, the Equal Pay Act was instated, and since that point in time it has been illegal to pay someone with the same job title and responsibilities a different wage on the sole basis of their gender. Unfortunately, arriving at the place where one can make the verified statement that they are being unfairly paid due to their gender can sometimes be difficult. Because of this, we have put together the following blog to help you better understand what Gender Pay Discrimination is, and how you can go about suing on those grounds.
What is Gender Pay discrimination?
Gender pay discrimination, or the gender pay gap, is simply the difference in earnings between men and women, and is usually presented as a percentage of the man's earnings. Gender inequality in the realm of pay may actually show itself in a few different ways besides the obvious annual salary amount.
First- we see pay discrimination when it comes time for raises, and bonuses. The numbers linked with each of these salary add-ons may be very different between genders even when the job titles are the same.
Second- we see inequality crop up in different levels of a given organization. We may come across companies who have an obviously male dominated top tier of employees, where it seems no woman could ever break into a high level position or make the same type of advancements as their male peers.
The third most frequent way that we see gender discrimination in the workplace, similar to the second scenario, is that at each level of the company there is an absence of women in managerial positions. It may be that we see women at the top level of the company, but their potential is somehow capped in that they will never have the opportunity to oversee, and manage.
How can I prove Gender Pay Discrimination?
Since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was instated, a few hurdles will need to be jumped if you were to carry out suing for gender pay discrimination. Once the initial paperwork is filed, one of the following points will try to be proved by your employer to justify the pay inequality:
- Your company has a merit system
- Your company has a seniority system
- Your company has a pay system based on some level of output
- Your pay inequality is due to something other than gender
Unfortunately, pay discrimination suits don't usually get past the stage of initial filing, because employers can usually prove one of these four points above. This is why it is always advisable to have a lawyer you trust by your side to defend your rights, and keep you from being verbally bulldozed in court.
How do I take action when suing for Pay Discrimination?
If you believe that you are currently being affected by Gender Pay Discrimination, the first step you will need to take is to file a complaint to your EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), or contact a lawyer for yourself. The EEOC is usually a suggested starting point as they can offer free consultations for your grievance, however, if you have found a lawyer you can trust who offers free consultations, there is no true difference the jumping off point.
The next step you will want to take is ensuring that you have full documentation of your past incomes, raises, bonuses, performance reviews, important dates of term of employment, and any other such points which would be relevant to the issue. From that point, the situation will be in the hands of your lawyer, but it is best to note that these types of lawsuits can become heated, so again, it is best to have a lawyer by your side that you trust, and will be an advocate for you.
If you believe that you or a loved one is currently being discriminated against for Gender Pay Discrimination, contact top NYC lawyer Joe Carbonararo today for a free consultation.