Advocating For California Employee Rights

How does wage discrimination happen at work?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2023 | Discrimination

You love your job. That’s why you wake up, report to work and give it your best. In return, you look forward to a fair day’s wage. But what happens when you discover that your employer is not paying you what you deserve?

Unfortunately, wage discrimination is a common problem in many workplaces. Simply put, wage discrimination happens when employees with the same qualifications and work experience perform the same role but are compensated differently. It can also happen when employees in the same job group are paid differently based on their age, race or other protected features.

Proving wage discrimination

Wage discrimination is illegal both under state and federal laws. Thus, if you are a victim of pay disparity at work, you deserve justice.

To recover the damages you are entitled to, however, you need evidence- which leads to the question – what evidence do you need to prove pay discrimination at work?

In order to prove pay discrimination under the Equal Pay Act, you will need to demonstrate that your job description and roles are similar to your co-workers’ of the opposite sex. You will also need to demonstrate that your day-to-day tasks are comparable to your co-workers’ and that you are all working under the same establishment.

If you are claiming pay discrimination under Title VII, however, you will not be required to prove that you are performing a similar role as a co-worker of the opposite sex. Rather, you can simply hold your employer liable even when there are no employees of the opposite sex in your organization. Here are three elements you need to satisfy to prove wage discrimination under Title VII:

  • You belong to a protected class under the law
  • You are currently holding the position in question
  • Your employer is discriminating against you based on your protected characteristics

Not many things are as disheartening as learning that you are not receiving fair pay for your work. Knowing your legal options, however, can help you fight for what is rightfully yours.