Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
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Male-versus-female wage disparities: increased scrutiny

Perhaps you're a female employee in an industry where companies pay full value for good workers, without regard to gender. That is of course only logical and how things should be in the American workplace, with no exceptions ever being made that harm women because they're … women.

Alternatively, though, you might be a female worker who suspects -- or flatly knows -- that the males surrounding you who are similarly placed with you in the workplace are making appreciably more money than you, because they're … men.

That latter scenario would hardly seem to be materializing before you owing to some delusional thinking on your part. As noted in a recent online publication catering to human resource managers, "On average, women earn 79 cents for every dollar mean earn," with that stark difference being even more dramatic when the sole focus is upon black and Hispanic women.

Truly, neither logic nor equity can fairly countenance such a result. In fact, federal legislation -- coupled with laws in many states -- long ago sought to eradicate the prominent gender-based pay gap operative across legions of American industries. As the above-cited publication notes, laws passed way back in the early 1960s had women workers centrally in mind, with their clearly stated intent being an eradication of disparate pay scales between male and female employees doing similar work.

Although there is broad agreement that things have in fact dramatically improved since the passage of those laws, the above-noted 21% wage gap clearly reveals a stubborn persistence among many employers to pay fair wages to their valued female workforce.

The disparity is being increasingly noted and commented upon these days. With more women employed outside the home than ever before, it is likely that the issue will be progressively spotlighted.

Real reform will hopefully come from that. Anything less is patently unfair and not indicative of an enlightened workforce in the 21st century.

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