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Wage discrimination includes more groups than women

A review of filings at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows that discriminatory pay practices by employers in California and nationwide do not emerge solely from discrimination against women. Race, age, national origin, disability and religion also inspire many wage discrimination claims.

Charge filings at the EEOC from fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2016 show that the percentage of cases of racial wage discrimination for each of those years was nearly equivalent to gender wage discrimination cases or exceeded their percentage by a small margin. Although the bulk of gender wage discrimination claims were filed by women, an average of 15 percent of allegations came from men over that period.

Critics who want to dismiss pay discrimination as the result of the choices that women make ignore the widespread claims based on other factors. Stereotypes used to judge the worthiness of employees reduce their ability to meet living expenses. A clearer picture of the extent of unequal pay could emerge in the future now that employers with staffs of 100 or more people must submit Employer Information Reports to the federal government annually. This filing will provide government agencies about employee demographics and pay data.

In addition to unfair pay, a person could experience workplace discrimination that limits promotions, imposes undesirable work hours or results in harassment or wrongful termination. The EEOC is tasked with overseeing claims that are filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and there are time limits regarding this procedure that an employment law attorney can explain.

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