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Unequal pay is not a new subject but since it still happens, we felt that we should shed some light on this subject and give our fresh opinions. Before we go any farther let me explain some of the background of Equal pay. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 “Applies to virtually all employers, large and small, and prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women working in the same place of business who are performing substantially the same work.” (Snow). This Act was created because of the significant wage gap among genders back in 1963, yet we still struggle with it today. “when the Equal Pay act was passed the average wages of women were less than sixty percent of men.”( Kubasek). Now that, that has been explained in detail the following will be explained Since unequal pay is still relevant and we’ll define why it is unfair and what steps people can take if they believe it is happening to them. Lastly, we will talk about the consequences of unequal pay to the companies who allow this to happen.
There are several reasons given by experts as to why there is still a gap between men and women wages. According to Hartmann, Gault, Lovell, Sinzdak, and Caiazza “the number one feature in women’s earning less than men is that of hours worked, or on the part of women, hours not worked.”(Kennedy). For this reason, You can imagine that women may have to get leave form work to take care of a sick child or a family member. “Sad to say but, of the thousands of single parents in the workforce today, more than half of them are women” (Kennedy). This is some of the reason that results in less hours worked by women as to men. Many excuses have been made that the difference is attributed to productivity but according to professor Francine Blau this information cannot be proven. “The existence of large pay differentials between male and female workers that cannot be attributed to individual differences in productivity-related characteristics” (Blau). Another reason why many believe the gender wage gap still exist is lack of experience and skills at the work place. “Many jobs are dominated by male workers are worth more money than those dominated by female workers” (Kennedy). For example;
“An employer who owns an electric company and has a male electrician and a female secretary is not likely to pay the secretary the same as the electrician. The secretary’s job is not of less importance to the system of the organization, but her day-to-day work does not contain the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics that keep her alive on the job as to where by the electrician’s job is more dangerous, requires more knowledge and training” (Kennedy).
Since these two positions cannot be considered the same, there should be a wage gap expected. “The Equal Pay Act of1963 requires equal pay for men and women doing substantially equal work, as opposed to comparable worth, that is equal pay for men and women doing equal work for an employer.” (Kennedy) The third reason why we still see a gap between men and women wages is simply discrimination. Wall (2000). indicated women are making only “76.5% of men’s wages, a gender wage gap of 23.5 cents for every dollar earned by the median man and when it comes to hourly standpoint, the pay wage gap decreases to 16.2 cents. (Kennedy, Nagata, Mushenski, & Johnson, 2008). when it comes to the discrimination standpoint, expert has given many reason why the wage gap is not to be considered a discrimination against women. We all have rights to protect whether you are a man or women. Thank goodness that there is a law that fights for unequal pay so if you feel there is a discrimination on your pay there is ways to fight it.
According to The American Association of University Women, if unequal pay is occurring, you have the right to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you want to file a charge, it’s best to do it as soon as possible because you must file a charge within 180 days of the discriminatory action to preserve your legal rights. There are different options when filing. You can either file a lawsuit, although you’d have to hire an attorney for that. The other option is to just go to the EEOC’s website and file the charge.
” If a complaint is filed, courts or the EEOC will examine a broad range of pay practices to analyze compliance, including the employer’s overtime pay practices, bonus structures, stock options, profit sharing, life insurance, vacation pay, car allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and other fringe benefits. Importantly, if there is an inequality in wages between men and women, employers may not reduce the wages of either sex to make their pay equal” (Snow).
There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to unequal pay, much more than what meets the eye. Speaking up as soon as possible is clearly the best option. No one should have to settle for unequal pay.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was designed to protect men and women from pay discrimination from their employer; most cases involve women and even more so women of color and other nationalities. If these women decide to peruse they could take it to court, if they have proof of the pay discrimination is taking place if a women are preforming equal in the terms of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions. The gap is so big between women and men almost 0.24 cents with the right evidence that gap could be closed more than it already has.
” Equal Pay Act are intended to bring much more than shame to an employer. Suits may be initiated and enforced by the EEOC, a group or class of employees in a class action, or individual plaintiffs. The statutory damages can be crippling to employers. Like the FLSA, the Act provides for recovery of two or three years (if violation is willful) of back wages, liquidated or double damages of an amount equal to the back wages, as well as reimbursement of attorney fees and costs. ” (Snow)
Under the Equal Pay act of 1963 it outlines what happens of “a company is found guilty the plaintiff may recover damages under the Equal Pay Act and gender discrimination” (Snow, pg.4). A company could face severe damages to pay to the plaintiff and all who is involved in the case or others who work’s there. ” Importantly, individuals, such as owners, officers, or supervisors, may be held personally or individually liable under the Equal Pay Act if they had the capacity to exercise control over the plaintiff employee “(Snow). Ways that a company can justify differences in pay could be merits seniority, productivity and commission based sales. The ways listed can justify pay differences and they work if the company follows the rules of The Equal Pay Act of 1963. “A successful plaintiff may recover damages under both the Equal Pay Act and Title VII for gender discrimination the court will calculate damages to give each plaintiff the maximum award to which he or she is entitled under either statute” (Snow) unequal pay can be crippling for a company so it is important to follow the laws when it comes to gender and equal pay.
Unequal pay is unfair and employees should know what they can do to report unequal pay. “Importantly, individuals, such as owners, officers, or supervisors, may be held personally or individually liable under the Equal Pay Act if they had the capacity to exercise control over the plaintiff employee” (Snow). Without a doubt this is a serious topic, it interferes with employees lives and means of making a living. The Equal Pay Act is there to help people and preserve their dignity. The consequences can be grave and destroy employee morale “A successful plaintiff may recover damages under both the Equal Pay Act and Title VII for gender discrimination.” (Snow). Unequal pay in wrong and employers and employees should be vividly aware of the consequences
Blau, Francine D. Gender, Inequality, and Wages. Oxford Press Oxford Univ, 2016. Print
Kennedy, A., Nageta, E., Mushenski, B. P., & JohnsonD. L. (2008). Wage Discrimination Based on Gender and Race. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 75(2), 13-19.
“Know Your Rights at Work: The Equal Pay Act.” AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881. AAUW, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2017.
Kubasek, Nancy, M. Neil Browne, Daniel J. Herron, Lucien J. Dhooge, Linda L. Barkacs, and Carrie Williamson. “Chapter 24/ Emplyement and Discrimination Law.” Dynamic Business Law: Summarized Cases. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw- Hill/Irwin, 2013. N. pag. Print.
Snow, Christopher B. and Jane K. Snow. “The Equal Pay Act of 1963.” Utah Bar Journal, vol. 29, no. 6, Nov/Dec2016
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