October 25th, 2012

There has been a lot of buzz over the past few years about the surprising economic gains for women during the recession. Women have been pursuing advanced education at a higher rate than men, and have a lower unemployment rate than men. In fact, 680,300 more women are working now than over a previous three-year period, and 1.9 million fewer men are working.

Despite these gains, women still only earn about 79 cents for every one dollar that men earn, according to a recent survey conducted through the U.S. Census Bureau. The gender pay gap exists independent of other factors like education, occupation, or experience and policy makers have often struggled to find a way to ensure equal pay to women.

Experts estimate that if the current rate of change continues, women can anticipate pay equity by 2063.

Surveyors found that there was one occupation in which women earned slightly more than men. Women working as transportation, storage, and distribution managers made about $1.02 for every one dollar that a man earned in that same role. That job provides workers with a middle class income level of about $52,000 per year.

There have been many different proposed solutions to the issue of income inequality for women, but so far few policy initiatives have succeeded creating a major shift towards equal pay, despite the fact that discriminating based on gender is illegal.

Women who believe that they have been the victim of unequal pay based on their gender may be able to file a complaint against their employer to remedy the situation and seek damages.

More information about gender discrimination lawsuits can be found on our Minnesota employment law site.

Source: Businessweek, “Wage Gap for U.S. Women Endures Even as Jobs Increase,” Frank Bass and Jennifer Oldham, Oct. 25, 2012.

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