Proposed legislation could help equalize pay for men and women

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has been around since 1881. Its mission is to advance girls and women through education, philanthropy, advocacy and research. The organization has fought for women's rights to own property, vote and have equal educational opportunities. Now, the AAUW has the pay gap in its sights and hopes to bring pay rates for women up to the same levels that men earn. 

April 4 is ''Equal Pay Day''

The AAUW created Equal Pay Day in 1996. For the last 22 years, the group has continued to honor the day by bringing awareness to the stark differences between the salaries of men and women here in the United States. On this day, they recognize that women, on average, earn 20 percent less than their male counterparts. When it comes to women of color, the numbers point to even higher discrepancies in compensation. This information is based off the annual federal government report called the Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States. Unfortunately, the pay gap is a very, very real problem still today. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a proposed piece of legislation created to close the pay gap once and for all. If made into law, the Act would update the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to include the following:

  • Require employers to show that their wages are paid based on performance and other metrics that don't include sex.
  • Prevent retaliation against workers who disclose their wages.
  • Increase penalties for employers that violate equal pay standards.
  • Provide additional training to EEOC employees so they can better police unequal pay violations.

Is your employer paying you unequally?

If you suspect that your rate of pay is not commensurate with the rate of those of the opposite sex and that your male counterparts are receiving a much higher pay rate for the same kind of work and job duties, you may be the victim of gender-biased pay discrimination. Makes sure you fully investigate your situation, gather as much evidence as possible about the employee pay rates and investigate your legal rights and options.

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