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Sterling Employment Law

Methods for Michigan women to deal with wage discrimination

According to the Equal Pay Act, all employers must pay similar wages to both men and women who perform similar tasks at the workplace. Equal pay, in this context, refers to all wages and benefits including salary, overtime, bonus, insurance, stock options and other entitlements.

However, it is fairly common in Michigan, as well as other states, to find numerous examples of where a woman earns lesser than a man even while performing similar duties. Thankfully, there are measures that a woman can take to address this form of workplace discrimination.

The first step can be trying to resolve the issue through informal means. That is possible by sharing the issue with one's supervisor, but if there is evidence that the supervisor is the person responsible for the wage discrimination, that employee may speak with the organization's human resource department. If that female employee is a union member, consulting the union representative may also help.

For a more formal approach, a female employee first needs to understand the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Information on these acts can be found on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's website. Once familiar with the content of the acts, a female employee can consider lodging a formal complaint regarding the wage discrimination.

Another important point to be kept in mind is to preserve all records and documents. Records and documents, in this case, would include pay stubs, emails, memoranda, letters, performance appraisals and disciplinary actions and any other document that can be utilized as evidence while filing a formal complaint.

In many cases, it may also be helpful to consult local anti-discrimination agencies at the state, county or city level as these agencies can help a female employee understand state laws which prohibit wage discrimination in the same way that federal laws do.

Since workplace discrimination cases are often complicated because of the intricacies of law, it may be a wise decision on part of an employee to seek legal assistance with this issue. This help can be sought from the union representative or a lawyer who practices employment and discrimination laws in Michigan.

Source: DOL.gov, " A Guide to Women's Equal Pay Rights," Accessed on Feb. 5, 2015

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