In 2016, it was revealed that major television stars Robin Wright (House of Cards) and Emmy Rossum (Shameless) earned less than male counterparts for roles that were equally popular among viewers. It is a distressing reminder that in this day and age, women continue to be robbed of well-deserved pay for equal work. From Hollywood TV sets to the desks of graphic designers, pay discrimination based on sex is still prevalent in society.
Although it is illegal to pay two employees different wages for the same work (while assuming relevant factors are equivalent, such as employee availability, dedication, education, and skill) it is a disturbing fact that the gender pay gap continues to thrive. If you believe that you may make less than male counterparts for equal work, there are a few steps you can take to build a case.
How am I protected?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act are two federal laws that seek to guard employees from discrimination at work. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 in particular was added to the Fair Labor Standards Act to abolish wage disparity based on sex. Today, employers can be held accountable by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for failing to compensate employees equally on the basis of gender or sex.
What should I do to prove pay discrimination?
If you believe you are receiving less pay than your opposite-sex coworkers for the same job performance, you can take the following measures to build your sex discrimination case. Should you require legal counsel from experienced pay discrimination attorneys, you will thank yourself in the long run for being proactive.
A simple hunch that you are being treated unfairly is all it takes to sour your workplace environment. To confirm your hunch, however, you need concrete evidence. Try getting your hands on anything possible that shows that a male coworker is being paid more for the same type of work, or is being promoted more quickly than you or other female coworkers. If you are not breaking the rules to access documents, a copy of an offer letter, a pay stub, performance evaluation or thread of emails can be helpful to help build your case.
Address your Employer
Pay discrimination is not always malicious or done with intent. Sometimes, it is simply built into a company’s structure. If you feel comfortable talking to your boss about it, it may be possible to amicably work out a solution. If your company has a human resources department, speaking with an HR representative can be a good first step toward ensuring that you are receiving equal pay for equal work. Keep in mind, however, that HR typically seeks to protect the reputation of the company as a whole and may not have your personal best interests at heart.
Investigate with the EEOC
If you cannot resolve the issue directly with your employer, you may file a complaint with the EEOC. They will notify your company of your claim and investigate the matter, although it is a lengthy and trying process. A dedicated sex discrimination and employment attorney can provide more insight into your case and support your role in the EEOC investigation. An employment law attorney can be an invaluable asset to you before even filing with the EEOC.
If you believe that you are the subject of pay discrimination in Virginia Beach and surrounding areas, Lisa A. Bertini can help you fight to resolve your case. With years of experience fighting for disenfranchised workers in Virginia, our attorneys have achieved successful results for sex discrimination cases. Call (757) 222-9165 to get started on your journey to end the hardships you face.