A few states like Michigan have recently taken steps to close the gender pay gap. Last year, Michigan’s governor entered an executive order that makes it unlawful for state departments and agencies to ask about a job applicant’s salary history before making an offer of compensation. The idea behind equal pay laws such as this one is to prevent employers from basing their offers of compensation on an applicant’s past salary, which will generally be lower for women than men.
In California, three women recently had a court victory in a gender discrimination lawsuit. The plaintiffs, who filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of more than 4,000 women, said that their employer paid male employees more money than women. The court granted them class certification, allowing other women in the plaintiffs’ position to join the litigation, which may eventually proceed to a jury to determine whether the company violated state and federal equal pay laws.
Failure to pay equal wages to men and women is only one example of workplace discrimination against women. Claims of gender discrimination can be brought both as a class action or on behalf of an individual. Individuals who believe that they have been discriminated against in terms of wages or otherwise may want to consult with an employment law attorney.