Wage discrimination is when a company does not pay their employees fairly. Wages should be determined based on how long employees have been at the company, their position, and their performance as an employee. When wages are determined based on age, gender, or some other factor not work related, then wage discrimination has occurred. The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wrote laws on these kinds of practices that help keep companies accountable for their wage practices.
In Commonwealth Pennsylvania, the human resources director of the Central Bucks School District was found guilty of wage discrimination against the female teachers. According to the lawsuit, the school district wages were determined on the teachers experience, and degree of education the teacher possessed. The problem was the male teachers were receiving higher pay in general and their credentials were valued more than the female teachers. The lawsuit contained 35 different examples of male teachers who were paid more based on their experience while female teachers were typically paid based on either a portion or none of their experience. Because of the director’s actions, they were placed on indefinite paid leave of absence.
English Actor Daniel Craig shared,
“A man is still likely to earn more money than a woman, even one doing the same job. You have a far better chance of entering political office or becoming a company director. … Women are responsible for two-thirds of the work done worldwide, yet earn only 10% of the total income and own 1% of the property. … So are we equals? Until the answer is ‘yes,’ we must never stop asking.”
Because of these discriminatory practices, there is more inequality in the workplace. When men and women are being paid unfairly based on factors he or she cannot control, it is causing a toxic work environment. What can be learned from the Central Buck School District lawsuit is to make sure every employee is aware of the practices used to determine wages and review programs for suspected wage discrimination. The school district did have a review program in place, but no one was made aware of it until the former human resources director testified in court. If companies make sure all the employees are aware of these discriminatory practices and how to address them, the employees will feel safer and the company will prevent toxic workplace practices.
American singer and songwriter Beyoncé says,
“Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers and sisters earn more—commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.”