If you suspect that your employer may have devalued your compensation rate (either intentionally or unintentionally) as a result of your gender, it’s important to speak with a discrimination lawyer Washington, D.C. area residents trust – and to do so even if you’re unsure of whether you have grounds for legal action against your employer. It is important to not ignore this issue once you have noticed it. Discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue, and legal action should be taken again employers who practice it. If you believe that you may be a victim of discrimination, contact a lawyer for crucial legal assistance.
Identifying pay inequity is often very challenging. Most of the time, co-workers are “kept in the dark” regarding the compensation rates and benefits packages afforded their colleagues. They may not even realize until at a later time that their compensation is not as high as it should be. It is therefore difficult to compare and contrast one’s own compensation and benefits with those granted to others within the same company. This information is not always easily accessible, and some companies may not disclose the details of employee compensation rates and benefits packages offered to them.
As a result, many pay equity cases understandably begin when an employee voices concerns and suspicions to an experienced Washington, D.C. discrimination lawyer, even though they’re not yet sure if they have grounds for legal action. They do not usually have direct evidence, so an employee may delay bringing up the issue. Some employees are reluctant to mention the topic to their employer for fear of retaliation. If you suspect that your compensation has been changed or devalued by your employer, consult with a lawyer about your situation and they will be able to inform you of next steps that you can take.
The Equal Pay Act
Over 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 into law. This legislation made it illegal for employers to engage in wage-based discriminatory conduct based on gender. However, more than 50 years after this law was passed, the gender pay gap remains significant. According to the 2020 report published by PayScale.com, women still only make $0.81 for every $1.00 earned by men. Wage-based discrimination remains a real and consequential force in the American workplace, even though it is far less obvious than it once was. This issue is prevalent among certain industries which are male-dominated. Your employer may not proudly proclaim that they pay you less than your male colleagues, but it is certainly possible that you’re experiencing illegal pay inequity challenges regardless.
The Equal Pay Act is not the only law that governs pay-related discrimination. If you have grounds to file legal action against your employer, we may argue that your situation stands in violation of numerous laws. However, understanding the basics of the Equal Pay Act will help to clarify the kinds of foundational claims we’ll likely need to make to argue your case successfully. Under the Equal Pay Act, an employer may be held liable for illegal pay discrimination if it can be proven that a man and woman working for the same employer and substantially engaging in the same job are receiving unequal pay. The man and woman do not need to have the same job title or description for this standard to be upheld in favor of the aggrieved. A lawyer will closely examine your wages compared to other employees within your company and look for evidence to see if discriminatory practices have taken place.
Pay Discrimination Legal Guidance Is Available
If you’re concerned that you’re being unjustly compensated as a result of your gender, please connect with the experienced legal team at Eric Siegel Law today. Our firm is proud to fight for the rights of workers and we’ll be honored to advise you of your legal options once we learn more about the details of your unique situation. Every worker deserves to be compensated fairly by their employer. We will work to ensure that the parties involved are held responsible if they have discriminated against you. Even if you’re unsure of whether your compensation and benefits package violates the Equal Pay Act, it’s important to speak with an experienced Washington, D.C. discrimination lawyer instead of making assumptions about your case; we look forward to speaking with you.
FMLA Discrimination Claims
Individuals are commonly discriminated against in the workplace through either rejection of legitimate leave-related requests or retaliation in the wake of taking legally-protected leave. There are many different state and federal laws that protect workers who take leave from their jobs for lawful reasons. For example, federal law protects those who serve in the National Guard from being discriminated against for attending required trainings and serving if called up to active duty. Other laws protect workers who are called to serve on juries and those who need time off to vote. But the most commonly utilized federal leave protections are found in the Family Medical Leave Act.
The FMLA is a federal law that protects most employees in the event that they need to take time away from work to care for their personal health challenges or to care for the health challenges of certain loved ones. In a nutshell, this law allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year without fear of losing their jobs or being retaliated against. With that said, employers do not always honor the spirit or letter of this law. When employers refuse to grant legitimate FMLA requests or retaliate against those who take FMLA leave, affected employees may have grounds for legal action.
When Are Leave-Related Challenges Legally Actionable?
Leave-related discrimination is legally actionable in scenarios that involve a violation of a worker’s rights. For example, the FMLA applies to employees of public agencies, elementary and secondary schools, and those who work for companies that employ a minimum of 50 workers within a 75 mile radius of the worker’s jobsite. Provided that a worker’s situation meets these criteria and the worker has put in a minimum of 1,250 for that employer within the last 12 months, they are eligible for FMLA protection. As a result, if that worker requests leave that is legally protected under this statute and that request is rejected (or the worker takes the leave and is retaliated against), they should speak with an attorney about their legal options. Note that the eligibility requirements for other kinds of leave vary by statute.
Seeking Guidance Proactively
It is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as you believe that you may be experiencing unlawful treatment. This is true regardless of whether the discriminatory treatment you’re experiencing is related to your membership in a protected class, your need to take legally-protected leave, your experience in a hostile work environment, etc. Being proactive can help to protect your interests and legal options as you craft a plan of action. Additionally, the law only grants plaintiffs a certain amount of time to file a claim. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that the statute of limitations that applies to your situation will have run by the time you receive legal guidance.
Signs You’re Being Discriminated Against at Work
Although workplace discrimination is on the decline, it still occurs sometimes. It’s important to know when you’re being discriminated against and contact a discrimination lawyer in Washington, D.C. promptly. Here are a few signs that you’re experiencing discrimination.
Moving Forward With a Workplace Discrimination Claim
If you are struggling with a dispute with an employer, it can be intimidating. For many people who are trying to obtain their rightful wages, they may second-guess their decision to take legal action. They might be wondering what consequences they could face if their employer were to find out. Will they still have a job? What if they make their situation worse? What if the case doesn’t end in my favor? These are all valid questions that clients may have. Luckily, a lawyer who has the skills and experience to guide you through this tough situation can help you every step of the way. In addition to giving you invaluable legal assistance, they can lend emotional support to help you get through the entire experience. You can depend on a lawyer to listen to you, assess your case, collect evidence and build an argument so that you can finally receive the wages that you deserve.
Consult a Lawyer For Assistance
Until you talk to an experienced discrimination lawyer, you won’t really have an accurate assessment of your situation. A lawyer can evaluate your case and use their knowledge and experience to determine if your employer has discriminated against you. If there are certain complications in your case, a lawyer will decide on legal strategies to use so that you boost your chances of obtaining proper compensation. Fighting discrimination in the workplace is not easy, but with a qualified lawyer involved and ready to advocate for you the process can be less intimidating and stressful to go through. Schedule a consultation with a discrimination lawyer that Washington, D.C. trusts now.