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Surveys find the gender pay gap persists

The gender pay gap has declined since 1980, but women still lag behind men in income. New Yorkers may be interested to learn about a 2018 Pew Research Center study that found that women earned 85 percent of what men earned. A different study in 2017 by the Census Bureau put that figure at 80 percent. In 1980, women earned around 36 cents less than men per hour.

A number of reasons for the pay gap and its persistence have been proposed. Gender discrimination could be one reason. In 2017, Pew Research found that more than 40 percent of women claimed to have experienced gender discrimination at work. Women are more likely than males to take time off work for caregiving duties. This may include taking care of children as well as caring for other family members. More than 40 percent of women said they reduced their work hours for caregiving, and just under 40 percent said they had taken a lot of time off work to do so.

In 2016, a survey found that after birth or adoption, men took a median of one week off from work. For women, it was 11 weeks. Almost twice as many women as males said time off hurt their career.

A woman who believes she is facing employment discrimination may want to consult an attorney. Legal counsel could be helpful even if the woman initially plans to pursue a complaint about the discrimination through the channels provided by the workplace. An attorney may help in filing a lawsuit if the employer is not responsive.

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