shadow Gender wage discrimination in the workplace
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The Gender Pay Gap – Your Rights Under New York Employment Law

A recent New York Times article reported that research shows, despite progress in the political movement, women still make less than men for the same quality of work. This is true even though women are obtaining higher education at a greater rate than men, have just as much work experience as their male counterparts, and are as likely to pursue higher-paying jobs.

According to a study conducted by researchers from Cornell University – as well as others focused on the gender pay gap – when women enter the workforce in specific fields in large numbers the overall wages in that field decline for the same work that men were doing before the female influx. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there are variations in jobs requiring similar education, responsibility or skills between genders. For example, the median earnings for information technology managers – who are mostly male – is 27% higher than those of human resource managers – who are mostly women. Likewise, janitors – who are generally male – earn 22% more than maids and house cleaners – typically female.

Federal & New York Laws

Federal law, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, states that discrimination in the workplace based on gender is a violation of one’s civil rights. Beyond this, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which falls within the Fair Labor Standards Act, prohibits discrimination in pay and benefits based on an employee’s gender. In other words, the Act requires that men and women in the same workplace be paid equally for the same work. The job itself does not have to be identical, however, they must be substantially equal. Under the law, the content of one’s job – and not the job title – determines the substance of the job.

The EPA covers all forms of employment pay, including salary, overtime pay, profit sharing and bonus plans, stock options, vacation and holiday pay, life insurance, cleaning and/or gasoline allowances, reimbursement for travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and employee welfare benefits. If inequality exists in the wages between male and female employees, an employer is forbidden from reducing the wages of either employee to equalize the pay among genders.

Under New York State’s Equal Pay Law, an employer is prohibited from paying different rates to employees based on their gender. The State’s Department of Labor notes that if male and female employees work (1) in the same establishment, (2) on jobs that require equal effort, skill and responsibility, and (3) under the same work conditions, they must receive the same rate of pay.  New York state law does permit different pay rates, however, based on factors other than gender. This may include quality of work, quantity of work and length of service. New York State’s Commissioner of Labor has the authority to enforce the claims of workers alleging pay discrimination based on gender, when the violation is based on the Equal Pay Law.

Gender Discrimination Lawyer

If you or someone you know believes they have been discriminated against because of gender in New York – or have become of victim of any type of employment discrimination – contact the seasoned gender discrimination attorneys at White, Ricotta & Marks, P.C. With offices in Long Island and Carle Place that serve clients across the greater New York area in all matters relating to employment law, our gender discrimination lawyers can provide guidance on your case. Call (800) 240-9269 or click here today for your free, initial, case evaluation.

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