How to Tell if You Are Getting Paid Less Than a Man at Work

Getting paid less than a man can ruin your work morale.

Getting paid less than a man can ruin your work morale.

Most women believe that they should get paid the same salary as a man if they do the same job. That's only fair, right? Sadly, women tend to earn a fraction of a man's salary, even in the same position at the same company. The 1963 Equal Pay Act and similar initiatives haven't done nearly enough to solve the gender pay gap. If you think you're getting paid less than a man at work, don't suffer silently. Performing a bit of detective work may give you the information you need to get the salary you deserve.

Ask male co-workers what they're getting paid if you feel comfortable enough to do so. Most men don't mind bragging about their salary, so it shouldn't be difficult to get this information. The National Labor Relations Act gives workers, except for supervisors, the right to discuss pay with colleagues.

Request a look at your company's unemployment filings if they're public record. You'll probably need to ask someone in the human resources department for this data. Consider making friends with someone in the department so you'll get the most helpful response. The unemployment records allow you to see the name of every employee who's worked there, along with his or her salary.

Question your boss about your colleagues' pay. If your boss likes you and you're lucky, he or she just might divulge the information.

Support the Paycheck Fairness Act and ask your senator to do the same. This bill, which has failed in the Senate twice, would make it easier for women to learn about and prove pay discrepancies.

Search for public SEC filings provided by your company via the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website. Some of these filings might contain pay records.

Go through court records and search for documents pertaining to your company. If the company's managers or executives have done something scandalous, you can probably find records of lawsuits filed against them. Some of these records may offer salary information.

Tip

  • If you think you're being paid less than your male colleagues, don't despair. Collect your proof and submit it, along with a formal complaint of gender discrimination, to your company's HR department. If you're afraid of retaliation, file a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
 

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

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