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What to know about the gender pay gap

by | Aug 14, 2017 | Firm News, workplace discrimination |

Equal Pay Day for the typical woman employee in Pennsylvania is April 4. What this means is that it takes a woman until that date to make the same amount that a man made in the previous year. For a woman of color, that doesn’t take place until July 31. In some cases, women of all colors are paid less than men who have less experience and training.

A pay gap between men and women may emerge as little as one year after graduating from college. The gap exists even when accounting for the profession as well as how many hours each person works. In fact, black women make only 89 percent of what black men make despite the fact that black women tend to have higher levels of education.

This gap may impact a woman and her family both now and into the future. This is because a lower salary means that it takes longer to pay down debt, save for retirement or purchase a home. Those who work service jobs may have to deal with no paid leave and unpredictable schedules in addition to working for lower pay. Furthermore, African-American women may also face discrimination on the job for how they wear their hair. Supervisors may refer to it as distracting or try to ban certain hairstyles outright.

If a company policy has a disparate impact on employees of a certain gender, national origin or others who are protected, that policy may be illegal. Employees who are subject to rules that make it harder for them to get raises, promotions or job training may wish to pursue their grievances by filing a claim with the applicable state or federal agency. They might find it advisable to have the assistance of an attorney when doing so.