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What Is Gender Pay Discrimination?

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Our South Jersey Workplace Discrimination Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Will Help if You Have Experienced Gender Pay Discrimination

In the modern workforce, equal pay for equal work should be a given. However, gender pay discrimination exists, and it is a pervasive issue that affects many workers. It is an unlawful practice that stems from the unjust differences in pay between men and women who perform the same or similar jobs.

Gender pay discrimination, also called wage discrimination, is the disparity in remuneration between employees of different genders performing substantially identical work. The key elements of this definition are ‘substantially identical work’ and ‘disparity in remuneration.’ This implies that if a woman and a man are performing the same role with the same responsibilities, yet the man is paid more, this constitutes gender pay discrimination.

What Are Examples of Gender Pay Discrimination?

Gender pay discrimination can manifest in a multitude of ways, some more subtle than others. By understanding these various forms, you can better recognize instances of gender pay discrimination in your own workplace. Here are some examples:

  • Unequal pay for equal work: This is perhaps the most straightforward example. It occurs when men and women who perform the same job or jobs of equal value within an organization are paid differently based solely on gender.
  • Gender pay gap: This refers to the overall difference in average earnings between men and women across an entire workforce, industry, or country. It’s often influenced by factors such as occupational segregation, where specific jobs are dominated by one gender and may be undervalued compared to those dominated by the other gender.
  • Salary negotiation bias: Research has consistently shown that women are less likely to negotiate their salaries than men. When they do, they often ask for lower amounts. This trend can lead to women being offered lower starting salaries or fewer salary increases over time, contributing to the gender pay gap.
  • Promotion and advancement opportunities: Discrimination can occur in promotion and advancement opportunities within an organization. Women may be passed over for promotions or leadership roles in favor of less qualified male colleagues.
  • Unequal access to benefits: Sometimes, women may receive fewer or less favorable benefits compared to their male counterparts, such as lower contributions to retirement plans, fewer opportunities for flexible work arrangements, or less access to paid parental leave.
  • Job segregation: Certain industries or occupations may be heavily dominated by one gender, leading to differences in pay due to the perceived value of work traditionally associated with each gender. For example, caregiving roles like nursing or teaching, often female-dominated, may be undervalued compared to male-dominated fields like engineering or finance.
  • Wage theft: This can include paying women less for the same work, denying overtime pay, misclassifying employees to avoid paying benefits, or engaging in other forms of wage discrimination.
  • Performance evaluation bias: Biases in performance evaluations can contribute to gender pay disparities. For example, studies have shown that women may receive lower performance ratings or be judged more harshly than men for similar work performance.
  • Lack of transparency: Companies without transparent salary structures or policies can lead to disparities in pay based on gender. Without clear guidelines and oversight, unconscious biases can more easily influence compensation decisions.

Legal Options for Workers

Workers who find themselves victims of gender pay discrimination have a range of legal options. They can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or take their case to court. The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces laws against job discrimination. It can investigate your complaint, and if it finds it valid, it can sue the employer on your behalf or give you a ‘right to sue’ letter, which allows you to take the matter to court yourself. Another option is to bring the case to court. To do this, you must hire a lawyer.

Our South Jersey Workplace Discrimination Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Will Help if You Have Experienced Gender Pay Discrimination

Gender pay discrimination is an unlawful practice that should not be tolerated. Employees must understand their rights and fight against such discriminatory practices. If you have experienced gender pay discrimination, speak with our South Jersey workplace discrimination lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. today. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.

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