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Women continue to face a gender pay gap

Even 55 years after the Equal Pay Act was first signed into law in 1963, many women working in New York and across the country continue to face a gender pay gap. This issue continues to affect a broad swath of American women, particularly women of color who face multifaceted elements of discrimination in many cases. Every year, advocates draw attention to this issue by marking Equal Pay Day, indicating the day to which an average woman needs to work to make up for the pay gap with an average man from the prior year.

While the most commonly cited figure for the gender pay gap indicates that women earn $0.79 for every dollar earned by a man, that number holds true primarily for white women. The wage and hour pay gap is even more notable for women of color. Black women earn $0.63 for every dollar earned by a white man while Native American women earn $0.57 and Latina women earn $0.54. There are a number of reasons experts identify for the persistence of the pay gap, including workplace discrimination.

In addition, more women continue to work in low-wage industries, including home health care, personal care services and retail. Furthermore, women of color make up 17 percent of the overall American workforce, yet they work 33 percent of the low-wage jobs in the country. Women of color are significantly overrepresented in minimum wage jobs. They can also face obstacles in attempting to move up as studies have shown that qualified white job applicants receive 36 percent more inquiries and interview requests than equally qualified black applicants.

Women continue to face on-the-job discrimination, including wage and hour disparities based on sex or race. An employment attorney can help those who have faced discrimination or other unlawful employer conduct to pursue compensation.

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