Tips To Follow If You Believe Your Company Is Not Paying You Fairly Based On Gender, Race, Or Sexual Orientation

Most co-workers don't openly talk about their salaries or wages with each other, and many companies prefer to keep this information private for a number of different reasons, many of which may be legitimate, like not letting a competitor know how much the company is paying compared to others in the industry. But if there ever comes a time where you notice a clear pattern or difference between your pay and the pay of multiple other co-workers, it's worth taking a closer look. It could, of course, just be a mistake or something that slipped through the cracks. But if you believe the difference is due to your gender, race, or sexual orientation, you should start documenting the situation or take additional action immediately. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Bring the Discrepancy Up to Your Employer and Document the Response

First, it's important to give your employer the benefit of the doubt and an opportunity to make things right, at least at the start. Point out you've noticed a big difference in pay between yourself and others at the company who have the same job duties. Tread carefully and don't make any accusations regarding your gender or other personal characteristics at this time. Let your employer explain and document what is said. Ask if there is a plan you can follow to get your own pay up to the same level as the other employees.

Contact an Attorney and Consider Discretely Letting Others Like You Know About the Situation

If you don't make any headway with your employer, it might be time to contact legal help to discuss your options. This doesn't mean you are going to file a lawsuit right away, but letting a lawyer who specializes in employment law or pay discrimination analyze your case may be able to provide you with some next steps. It's also possible you could discretely approach other employees that you trust and let them know about the discrepancy, especially if those employees are in the same situation as you. If you find out that multiple employees of the same gender, race, or sexual orientation are being paid differently, you may have more power as a group to get your company to make a change.

Continue Doing Your Job Well as Your Attorney Puts Things in Motion

Your attorney will know what the next steps will be and that might include simply contacting your company about the situation instead of just fling suit right away. But in the meantime, the next step for you personally if you are still on the job is to not make any mistakes. Don't give your company a reason to discipline you while you are in the middle of a pay dispute. Talk to your attorney for more tips.

For more information on equal pay, contact a professional near you.