Determine if you are being underpaid and what you can do about it.

While women’s participation in the workforce has increased dramatically since the 1970s, they are still underpaid today. According to the Department of Labor, women make up 57% of the workforce yet earn only 79% of what men earn. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that men and women must:

underpaidbe given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. It is job content, not job titles, that determines whether jobs are substantially equal. Specifically, the Equal Pay Act provides that employers may not pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions within the same establishment.”

Overworked and Underpaid

Even though the number of women that are the primary earner or breadwinner has grown, women have continued to receive less earnings than men. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), if the change in earnings for women continues improving at the same rate at which it does now, it will take 44 years or until 2059 for women to finally reach pay parity. In fact, IWPR’s research demonstrates that outright discrimination in pay, hiring, or promotions continues as a prominent feature in work life.

Am I Underpaid At Work?

Unfortunately, many industries are characterized by underpaid workers. It can be difficult to know if you are underpaid due to discrimination; however, there are a few steps you can take to determine if you are indeed underpaid.

  • Begin your own research on for a better idea of the baseline salary for your position.
  • Contact a recruiter for more information on your role. Because recruiters spend the majority of their time reviewing resumes and searching for qualified applicants, they will have a better pulse on industry pay among competitors. You don’t have to leave your current position, but update your resume and speak to recruiter, so that they can give you information about what other employers pay.
  • Research job boards online to get an idea of the average wage or salary provided for your position.

It’s important to remember that the Equal Pay and Compensation Act states that pay differentials are permitted when they are based on seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production, or a factor other than sex. These are known as affirmative defenses, and it is the employer’s burden to prove that they apply. In correcting a pay differential, no employee’s pay may be reduced. Instead, the pay of the lower paid employee(s) must be increased.

According to, you may be underpaid by employers if you have been with the same employer and only received small pay raises or none at all. If you began your current position at entry level, but have increased the number of responsibilities without an wage increase, you may be underpaid.

If you believe that you are underpaid by your employer, please click to contact the Law Offices of Thomas More Holland You may also contact us by phone: (215) 486-3877 or by e-mail: to find out if you have a claim.

The team at Thomas More Holland is committed to dispensing justice and righting social wrongs. Experience Counts: Results Matter.

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