Equal Pay Day is observed on March 15 this year – this is the day chosen to signify how much extra women must work in order to earn the same pay as a man did in 2021. For the past 25 years, the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) has been working to raise awareness of the significant and ongoing pay inequity between men and women in the United States.
Unequal pay is not some sort of unfortunate economic fact – discrimination in pay based on sex is illegal in the United States and has been since 1964. The headlines about the recent $24 million settlement of a 2019 lawsuit filed by the U.S. women’s national team against the U.S. Soccer Federation remind us that sex discrimination is illegal at every position and in every industry in the United States.
People are encouraged to wear red this March 15 to support equal pay, signifying that you know women are “in the red” when it comes to pay. Using the NCPE Equal Pay Day kit, you can dive deeper and write letters to newspapers, educate employers, and even form a Wage Club with your colleagues.
The exact equal payday differs year by year and is not immediately known due to trailing statistical data, but it is always observed on a Tuesday in March. For example, in 2021, the actual Equal Pay Day for all women was March 24, based on the previous year, when women earned $0.82 for every dollar men earned.
The U.S. Department of Labor adds these sobering facts about equal pay:
There is more than one Equal Pay Day. Here are the extra days in 2021 that certain groups worked in order to earn what white, non-Hispanic men earned in 2020:
Asian American and Pacific Islander women – March 9.
Mothers – June 4 (compared with fathers, on average).
Black women – August 3.
Native American women – September 8.
Latinas – October 21!
Women earn less than men in nearly all occupations.
Women earn less than their same race and ethnicity counterparts at every level of educational achievement.
At Pelton Graham we’re doing our part every day to stand up for workers’ rights. Our entire team is dedicated to protecting workers, including those discriminated against for gender discrimination, through whatever means are available. This includes enforcing pay equity laws on behalf of our clients, such as:
- The Equal Pay Act prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions.
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, origin, color, religion, or sex.
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects pregnant employees.
- The Family and Medical Leave Act allows parents, regardless of gender, to take time off.
- In addition, 42 states also have equal pay laws similar to these federal laws.
If you believe you are not being paid equally due to your sex, here are a few things you can do.
- Get the facts.
- Know the law.
- Be objective.
- Talk to your supervisor or up the chain of command.
- Talk to H.R.
- Don’t be defensive or guilty about knowing others’ pay – it shouldn’t matter where the information came from if it’s accurate. Don’t tolerate retaliation for asserting your rights.
- If there is no satisfactory response, consult with an attorney.
At Pelton Graham, we get results – we don’t take every case, but if we accept yours, we promise we’ll do our very best to bring you the best possible outcome.
If you have any questions regarding your rights as an employee, applicant, independent contractor, or anything else related to the workplace, contact us for a no-obligation, no-cost consultation by telephone, video conference, or in-person at our nearest office.
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