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Wage disparities could indicate a discrimination issue

If you are like most Americans, you probably don't know what your co-workers actually earn. Many companies specifically put non-disclosure policies about wages in their contracts. They do this to avoid the awkward moment when equally qualified employees in similar positions realize that one makes much more money than the other for no discernible reason.

By preventing employees from discussing what they make, companies avoid liability and responsibility when it comes to various forms of employment discrimination. Gender as well as age can play a role in how much a person makes.

However, without access to the income information of your co-workers, it is hard to validate concerns about unfair compensation in Florida. If you have discovered that your employer does not offer equitable salaries for those in similar positions with similar levels of seniority, that could be a sign of systemic discrimination.

There are only a few factors that are reasonable explanations for pay gaps

The federal government has firm rules in place regarding fair compensation for workers. Generally speaking, employers should not use any protected characteristics, which include both gender and age, when determining what to pay an individual employee. Instead, compensation should be the result of an employee's performance, their experience, their seniority with the company, their skill or education, their responsibility to the company and working conditions.

For example, two repair technicians with similar educations and seniority levels could receive substantially different rates of pay if one works in an office setting and another works in a dangerous factory environment. Although they may both work for the same company, the one with the more dangerous work environment commands a higher wage.

Similarly, two people hired at the same time for a similar position could make different wages if one has substantially more education or experience in the appropriate field. Factors such as your age, your appearance, your race, your religion or your gender should have nothing to do with how much money you make in your position.

If the only discrepancy between you and someone who makes substantially more than you is that they are younger or they are of a different gender, that may be reason to suspect discrimination.

You have the right to stand up to wage discrimination

Employers should compensate their staff fairly, based on their performance and work-related factors. Not only is this an ethical obligation, it is also a legal one under federal law.

If your employer discriminates against you by not paying you a comparable wage to what others in the company make, you may be able to pursue civil action against the business. Sitting down with an employment law attorney is a good first step in determining if you have the right to compensation.

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