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Women seemingly always have fought an uphill battle in the fight for wage equality with their male counterparts. As the number of women in the workforce has increased over the years, that gap between male and female wage earners has gotten narrower, but the gulf is still perhaps too wide compared to what it should be. Some correctly argue that any wage gap based solely on gender should not occur, especially in today’s society. Any difference in earnings of this nature falls under the category of discrimination in the workplace and has no legal reason to be allowed.
While President Obama has gained praise for his support of reducing this pay gap and supporting legislation like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Play Act, a law that makes it easier for women to sue over pay discrimination, he has come under fire recently after a study of his staff in the white house has revealed that he pays his male staffers more than his female staffers. The numbers show that women staffers earn about eighty-seven percent of that of their male counterparts ($71,000 to $62,000), while the national average in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), was around eighty percent.
Despite this example of potential discrimination from our nation’s highest office, the president and his predecessors’ support of pay equality has allowed for several advancements that are evident with the latest numbers. Younger women (aged 25-34) have narrowed the gap substantially to about ninety-two percent according to the 2011 numbers. Several legislative acts, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, have made it more difficult for employers to discriminate against women when it comes to their needing to miss time due to pregnancies. However, women are still more likely than men to take unpaid time off of work to deal with sickness or other parenting issues in a family, a fact which reduces their wages by default.
While it is becoming harder and harder for employers to discriminate against women in their pay, the fact remains that it still happens. When it does, it is important to have the best legal representation possible to ensure that your rights are protected. The Law offices of Valli, Kane, and Vagnini are specially equipped to help any victim of this or any other kind of discrimination in the workplace. Contact them for a free consultation to make sure that your rights are protected.