New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

You Have the Right to Receive Equal Pay

Author: Law firm of Alena Shautsova

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy to create a work environment where women could earn the same pay as men for performing equivalent jobs. Despite the passage of this law, a large gender gap still exists between the pay that women and men receive in the United States. According to the most recent U.S. Census statistics, women working full time, on the average, earn 77 cents to every dollar that men earn. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, this gap is even greater for women of color. Yet, women comprise almost half of the United States' work force.

U.S. Equal Pay Task Force

The Obama Administration established the U.S. Equal Pay Task Force in 2010 to address and handle pay discrimination in the workplace. Since the Task Force's creation in 2010, it has:

  • Obtained more than $62.5 million in monetary relief through its enforcement against gender-based wage discrimination
  • Recovered more than $24 million in back wages
  • Recovered nearly 5,500 job opportunities on behalf of more than 50,000 victims of discrimination
  • Evaluated pay practices of more than 10,000 businesses that employ more than 4.3 million workers

Under the Department of Labor, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs regulates federal contracts to ensure equal employment opportunities. An example of a case that it settled was lawsuit in 2011 against AstraZeneca, an international pharmaceutical corporation. The suit addressed claims that the company paid certain female sales representatives less earnings than comparable male sales representatives. AstraZeneca agreed to a settlement of $250,000 compensation for 124 female employees working at AstraZeneca's Wayne, Pennsylvania site. AstraZeneca is also reviewing its pay practices for offices in 13 other states and the District of Columbia.

If you are subject to pay discrimination at work, discuss your situation with a skilled New York discrimination lawyer. Find out about your rights to legal recourse.

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