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Stephanie Jane Hahn, Attorney At Law
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Women not alone in facing wage discrimination

Indiana employees may want to take heed of research published by the Center for American Progress. The common perception that wage discrimination is mostly an issue dealt with by women is undercut by the review of data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The numbers show a variety of filing categories beyond gender. Even when limited to gender, men are represented in significant numbers among the filers.

Among total filings alleging wage discrimination, only about 40 percent were based on gender in the past four fiscal years. Slightly more than 40 percent were grounded on race. Age, disability and national origin were also seen in significant numbers, with genetic and religious discrimination at well under 10 percent of cases. Multiple categories could be included in a single filing.

Wage discrimination based on gender could be filed under either the Civil Rights Act or the Equal Pay Act, depending on specific allegations. When combined, the data showed that men alleging gender discrimination averaged 15 percent of total filings. The author states this is important to recognize due to the need to tailor solutions to fit the problem. Until adequately addressed in policy, workers across the economy will run the risk of suffering due to the disparate impact caused by stereotyping

In cases involving employer demands or workplace harassment, employees may be painfully aware of wage discrimination. In other situations, workers may have suspicions but significantly less information to go on. An employment law attorney may be able to help in both cases by pointing to necessary evidence, suggesting strategies and providing a timeline for any chosen course of action.

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