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The gender pay gap: What to do if you’re being underpaid

Imagine pouring your heart and soul into your job, only to discover that a male colleague, with the same qualifications and responsibilities, is earning significantly more. This isn’t just a hypothetical scenario – it’s a harsh reality for many women in various industries in Kansas City and beyond.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) Equal Remuneration Convention stipulates that equal pay for work of equal value requires all workers to receive fair compensation. This means that employees should be equally compensated not just for identical tasks but also for different tasks that hold equal value.

The reality of pay inequality

Recent studies paint a stark picture, where women in the United States earn about 80 cents for every dollar men earn. Recognizing pay discrimination isn’t always straightforward. It can manifest in subtle ways, such as being consistently passed over for promotions despite equal qualifications or noticing a lack of transparency in salary decisions. Whereas pay differences based on experience or performance are legal, disparities solely based on gender are not.

Recognize the signs of pay discrimination in your workplace

Sometimes, pay discrimination isn’t obvious. It can be subtle, insidious and challenging to pinpoint. Watch out for red flags like:

  • You learn that male colleagues with similar experience are earning more
  • You’re consistently passed over for promotions despite strong performance
  • Your raises or bonuses are noticeably smaller than those of male coworkers
  • You’re assigned less valuable clients or accounts without clear justification

If you’ve encountered any of these legal issues, it may be time to examine your compensation structure closely. Compare your salary with industry standards by consulting reliable sources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since discussing salaries with coworkers is protected activity under federal law, approach these conversations with discretion

Documenting evidence of wage disparity

Addressing the issue with your employer requires careful legal preparation. Arrange a meeting with your supervisor or HR department and present your findings in a professional manner. Again, focus on your value to the company and the discrepancy in pay compared to male counterparts with similar roles and experience. Be prepared to discuss a path toward equitable compensation.

Confronting wage disparities is challenging but necessary for workplace equality. Navigating any employment legal complexities and negotiating fair compensation may require seeking legal help. A knowledgeable legal team can provide tailored legal guidance needed to effectively address your unique situation and work towards a just resolution.

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