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How does wage-related discrimination occur?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2021 | Wage & Hour Laws

Sometimes workplace discrimination is obvious. Your employer may deny you a promotion you have earned or perks of employment that other workers enjoy with no problems. However, in your case, you may not have noticed until recently that your employer is not paying you what you deserve for your job, yet other employees with similar jobs are receiving higher pay.

This is an example of wage-related discrimination. Some employers commit this action on the basis of a worker’s gender, race, color, age, disability, religion, or another distinguishing characteristic. The EEOC describes how wage-related discrimination may happen.

Job content

Someone at work may tell you that you are not entitled to the same pay since your job does not have the same title as another employee with a similar job. However, this may not be the case at all. The federal government determines wage discrimination has occurred if your employer is not paying you the same as someone with equal job content, not just someone with an identical job.

Types of pay

Someone may also tell you that federal law only covers forms of pay like your salary or overtime pay. The truth is that federal anti-discrimination law covers all types of pay. Your employer can be guilty of discriminating against you by not offering you the same stock options as someone who performed a similar job, or for not reimbursing you for travel, gasoline or hotel costs related to your work. Wage discrimination laws also cover vacation and holiday payments.

Multiple laws may apply

Depending on your situation, one or more laws may apply to you. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 forbids workplaces to pay men and women differently for performing the same work. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 does not allow employers to discriminate against disabled workers. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 penalizes discrimination based on your genetic information.

Some laws offer greater protections. If Title VII or the ADA applies to your case, these laws do not require your job to be substantially equal to other jobs in your workplace. If you know what laws may cover you, you should have a better understanding of how to pursue a case against your employer.