Wait a Minute! Why Am I Getting Paid Less Than My Male Coworkers?

It has been 56 long years trying to close the wage gap! Too long with too little success…

The Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963, making it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who hold the same job and do the same work. At the time of the EPA’s passage, women earned just 58 cents for every dollar earned by men. By 2013, that rate had increased to 78 cents.

Well, here we are now in 2019! Let’s review the latest statistics but please do not get upset, discouraged or mad at me for just sharing the information!

White women earn 79 cents for every dollar men make, that’s the base gender pay gap in the U.S using median hourly earning statistics and not controlling for job type differences or seniority, relative to white men. African American women earn approximately 65 cents for every dollar men make and Latina women earn 58 cents for every dollar men make. It is very interesting to note than Asian women earn 87 cents for every dollar men make.

Are you now ready to hear the good news and the bad news? Good news first: The wage gap is expected to close! The bad news…It will be another 50 years to see this happen!

I am sure you will agree that it’s well past time to close the wage gap. I am not sure about you but I can’t sit down and wait for another 50 years for the wage gap to close for us, for our sisters, for our daughters and grand-daughters.

What can we do to help close the gap? I find myself going back to the same 2 simple things we can do right now to close the wage gap for ourselves and future generations.

  1. Research and know the facts – research and find out what the current going rate is for the position we are applying for in the geographic area we will be working in. We have to do our homework and do it thoroughly! We have to make sure we factor in the total compensation package including benefits. We need to know all the facts!
  2. Learn to negotiate – we need to be skilled in negotiating our salary and benefits to get what we deserve. If needed, we can take courses on how to negotiate and learn that negotiation is a tactic that should be used to get the proper compensation based on our skills. knowledge and abilities. It’s time that we sharpen our skills in this area to compete for the same salaries and opportunities.

Elga Lejarza-Penn, aPHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP

If you would like to learn more about the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and other Employment Laws please join me at one of my 2-Day Certificate Programs.

If you would like to learn more about our SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, aPHR, PHR or SPHR Exam Prep Programs click here.

Related Articles

ADA and the Interactive Process

The “Interactive Process” can be a scary term for many Human Resources Professionals. My goal today is to show you that it does not have to be a scary term. There is nothing complicated with this process, it is indeed a very simple legal compliance. However, if it is not handled correctly, it could have serious implications for a company’s bottom line.

COVID-19 and High Unemployment in 2020

In April 2020, 23 million workers lost their jobs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During April, the unemployment rate peaked at an unprecedented level of 14.7% (in the last 80 years) before declining to a still-elevated level of 6.9% in October. Due to the large amount of uncertainty in the economy, it is estimated that high unemployment will persist in the next few years, despite the significant gains seen in employment since April.

Human Resources professionals can help laid off workers by providing a prepared list of resources such as unemployment compensation, eviction protection, credit card debt and loans. Compassion and empathy can also go a long way to ease the difficult transition for employees. Employers may face rising tax rates for unemployment compensation during this period as their rates are determined partially by how many employees are claiming unemployment benefits.

In this blog we posed the following question, do you know what the answer is? Read on to test your knowledge and see if you know the correct answer:

Which of the following is not true about unemployment compensation?

a) It was established as part of the Social Security Act of 1935.

b) Employees are eligible for unemployment compensation from their first day of hire.
c) Employees terminated for misconduct are not eligible for unemployment.

d) Fraud is a serious problem for unemployment insurance programs.