When you go to work each day, you expect wages that reflect the contributions you make to your employer. If you feel underpaid, the problem may be more serious than you realize.
If you disclose your concerns and continue to notice discrepancies, you may be the victim of wage discrimination. Knowing what wage discrimination looks like can help you protect your rights and your dignity.
Take a closer look at workers with similar roles to yours. Assess average wages for your industry. If your income pales in comparison with these figures, you should immediately speak with your employer. Perhaps it is something as simple as a clerical error or a misunderstanding in the scope of your responsibilities.
However, if you continue to receive a small wage that does not accurately reflect your workflow, you may need to file a wage discrimination claim. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, your employer should pay you a fair wage including aspects like bonuses, overtime pay and benefits.
Wage discrimination can happen because of a variety of factors. Your employer may view age, gender affiliation, pregnancy, race and even disabilities as a threat. They may hope that their decision to underpay will force you to leave and find another job. If you express your frustration with unfair pay, your employer should respond with an honest and legitimate reason for their actions. If they provide vague explanations about why they pay you less than your peers, it could indicate discrimination.
Workplace discrimination cases can take time to establish. An attorney can help you document your experiences to show the impact of unfair pay on your job and livelihood. With the right help and enough evidence, you may have a chance at recouping the money you deserve.