The Gender Wage Gap Is Widening, Not Shrinking

Feb 12 2018

It’s 2018. Women have been equal to men under U.S. and Connecticut employment laws for more than 50 years. And yet equality on paper still has not translated to equality in practice. In fact, at least with respect to the compensation, women are actually getting less equal. That is because, since 2000, the progress toward closing gender pay gap appears to have stalled.

Remarkably, women still earn only 80 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn. A recent report actually suggests that the gap between men’s and women’s pay is actually getting farther and farther apart. As of 2016, the wage gap was the widest it had been in nearly a decade. Why? Well, according to the same report, societal stereotypes about men’s and women’s “natural” roles – especially in the family – continue to influence the way women are paid. And these stereotypes are actually getting worse as many of today’s first-time mothers are millennials.

Sadly, Connecticut is no exception to this trend. The median annual pay for a Connecticut woman with a full-time job is $50,802. A similar man earns $61,666 — a difference of roughly 20%! Because of this unfair wage gap, Connecticut women lose a combined total of nearly $15 billion every year.

The Wage Gap Is Sex Discrimination

In case it wasn’t obvious, the wage gap is sex discrimination in its simplest form. Title VII, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, and the federal and state Equal Pay Acts make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex in the payment of wages or benefits.

The laws against discrimination in wages cover all forms of compensation, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits.

Men and women must be given equal pay for substantially equal work in the same establishment. It is the content of the jobs – not their titles – that determines whether jobs are substantially equal. And the Equal Pay Acts are strict liability statutes. That means employees do not need to prove that the decision was discriminatory; they just need to prove that the jobs are substantially equal and that the pay is different.

Contact Our Employment Discrimination Lawyers

If you have been subjected to unfair wages and unequal pay because of your sex or gender, you have rights. No one should be paid less because of who they are. Contact the employment discrimination attorneys at Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C., today. We are here to fight for you.

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