Equal Pay Day and the Legacy of Lily Ledbetter

April 10, 2018 is the 22nd Annual Equal Pay Day, which was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996. Equal Pay Day was determined to fall on a Tuesday, to illustrate how far into the next work week a woman has to work to make the same amount as her male counterparts. This event was created to raise national awareness with regards to the inequality women still face in the work place.

To draw further attention to Equal Pay Day in the #MeToo era, Ms. Lily Ledbetter invites us to be reminded that women face more hardship than just unequal wages in the work force, as she shares her personal experience with harassment. Ms. Ledbetter’s recent editorial in the New York Times can be found here. Of course, women who seek to address the inappropriate behavior of their co-workers potentially expose themselves to retaliation and alienation, when merely by trying to work in an environment where they can be respected and work with dignity.

According to the National Woman’s Law Center, 14.6% of women in Florida live in poverty, compared to 12.8% nationally. 16.5% of women, aged 18 – 64, are uninsured in Florida, while only 10.6% of working age women are uninsured nationally. Working women have slightly improved on the national wage average; women who work in Florida make $0.87 cents on the dollar to $0.80 nationally, when compared to male counterparts.

The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 offers recourse for those who have faced wage discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin, age, religion, and disability in the work place. Under this legislation, affected employees are able to bring their claims in court.

If you feel that you have been affected by wage discrimination or harassment in the workplace, speak to an attorney to better understand your rights. He or she can help you to determine if you have a claim and a right to legal protection. Neil Henrichsen is an AV Rated attorney, the highest rating by one of the nation’s oldest attorney rating companies. Contact Neil Henrichsen at nhenrichsen@hslawyers.com