The Equal Pay Act specifies that employers must pay men and women equal wages for work that is substantially equal in terms of content. In spite of this, the gender wage gap persists.
According to KERA news, in 2020, the Texas wage gap was higher than the national average. While direct wage discrimination is illegal, employers still do it, enabled in part by a culture that considers the discussion of pay a more private topic.
Are you a victim of wage discrimination?
Certain companies have confidential pay policies that directly prevent you from talking about your pay. This is a violation of your rights. One way to find out if you are a victim of gender-based wage discrimination is to discreetly ask around about your coworkers’ pay. Retaliation for this is also illegal. Hiring managers may also excuse wage discrimination by claiming it has a basis in prior salaries. You may refuse to answer if asked about your salary, though the law does not forbid prospective employers from inquiring about it. Another way women face wage discrimination is through the negotiation process. If your boss treats you differently from your male coworkers when you ask for a raise, this may be discrimination.
What options do you have?
If you suspect you are a victim of gender-based wage discrimination, you have the right to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You must do this within 300 days of the discriminatory action. You may also file a lawsuit without filing a report with the EEOC as long as you do so within two years. You need evidence, so documenting incidents is important.
If you suffer wage discrimination, you have the right to report your employer. Equal pay for equal work is a right given by the law.