Combatting Gender-Based Wage Discrimination
In the beginning of June 2019, the governor of Alabama signed legislation to combat gender-based wage discrimination which will become effective on September 1, 2019. With the enactment of this legislation, Alabama will join several other states including California, Colorado, Maryland, and Massachusetts which have new equal pay laws designed to combat gender-based wage discrimination. Despite this recent change in law, however, it is still important for workers to understand how to combat pay disparity due to gender discrimination.
Alabama’s New Equal Pay Law
Alabama’s new regulation prohibits employers from paying workers a wage less than the rate the employer pays to workers of another sex or race who perform substantially similar work.
There are, however, several defenses to this law. For example, a worker can escape having to comply with this regulation if it can be demonstrated that the wage difference is the result of a merit or seniority system.
Workers in Alabama who receive less than the pay they deserve are able to recover this payment as well as interest.
Additionally, under this regulation, employers are unable to prohibit workers from disclosing their own wages, discussing wages with others, or inquiring about another worker’s wages. If an employee attempts to assert these rights under this act, employers are also prohibited from discharging or retaliating against him or her.
What to do if You are a Victim of Gender Discrimination
If you are a worker who is paid less than you were owed and you live in a state that has yet to pass similar anti-discrimination legislation, it is important to remember that you still have rights under federal law.
Some of the steps that workers can take in these situations include:
- Gather evidence that you are not being paid fairly by your employer. If at all possible, it can help to collect evidence that a male coworker is performing the same work as you but is paid more for services provided. This might mean collecting an offer letter, pay stub, or email conversations.
- Consider addressing the matter with your employer. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, however, an experienced wage and hour attorney can help facilitate this communication. Some workers who have reported pay disparities discover that an employer is ready and willing to remedy these disparities.
- Obtain the assistance of an experienced wage and hour attorney to help pursue claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or another applicable federal agency. With Title VII claims, a worker only has 180 to 300 days within the date of receipt of his or her last paycheck or the last discriminatory act to commence legal action.
Speak with an Experienced Wage and Hour Attorney Today
If you are a victim of gender discrimination or sexual harassment or have any other workplace issue you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced employment attorney. Contact Herrmann Law today to schedule an initial consultation. Call us at 817-479-9229 or submit your case online (here) and we will contact you.