Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay

Women, on average, earn about 80% of what their male counterparts earn, even with the same education and in the same jobs. This pay gap has improved since the 1960s, but according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), this pay gap is not expected to close until at least 2059, and if the trajectory continues unchanged, it will be 2119 before women earn the same as men.

To a large extent, the pay gap remains a political problem, to be resolved through legislation. In many ways, however, the pay gap is a cultural problem to be resolved through a shift in how society understands and values women in the workplace. Sometimes, however, pay inequality can actually be a violation of a person’s legal rights. When pay inequality is directly due to gender, this is unlawful and is considered sex (“gender”) discrimination. If you believe you are being treated differently in your workplace simply because of your gender, contact Five Points Law Group today to find out more about your legal options.

What is Sex Discrimination?

Any time an employer discriminates or singles out an employee or group of employees based on sex, it is discrimination. Here are some common examples of how employers may commit sex discrimination:

  • Holding certain jobs only for people of a specific gender
  • Offering promotions based on gender
  • Selecting certain job candidates based on gender
  • Offering benefits or bonuses based on gender
  • Holding out special privileges to only those of a specific gender

All of these are unlawful, and it is not just women who suffer from gender biases and discrimination. Many female-dominated careers, such as nursing or jobs in the service industry, are replete with examples of sex discrimination against men.

Doen My Employer Have to Pay Me the Same as Others in the Same Job?

Not necessarily. Federal sex discrimination and equal pay statutes are not designed to force employers to pay all workers the same. They are designed to make sure employers are focusing on fairness and competition. In a free market, employers should be paying the most money for the best workers. If two candidates have the same credentials, same experience, and same results, it could be seen as sex discrimination if one is offered 20% more money than the other without some legitimate basis. Equal pay violations are often seen when a worker has more experience, education, and skill, yet is paid significantly less than a worker of a different gender.

Pretext Arguments

Some employers use “physical limitations,” “pregnancy,” or other buzzwords as a pretext for sex. In other words, an employer may say they cannot pay women as much because women are physically unable to do the same work or because they might get pregnant. Except in extremely rare situations, these types of excuses are nothing more than pretexts for sex discrimination.

Hire an Experienced Birmingham Sex Discrimination Lawyer

If you are concerned about your wages or believe you are being treated unfairly based on your gender, you should speak to an attorney right away. Do not assume you have no options. You may even be owed compensation if you have lost your job, been denied advancement, or had your pay cut. Call Five Points Law Group to get help today.

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