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How do you prove pay discrimination at work?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2022 | Workplace Discrimination |

Everyone deserves adequate and fair pay for work done. But when discrimination gets into the picture, the subject of pay can become a sticky issue. This is why labor laws are in place to protect workers from all forms of discrimination, including wage discrimination.

Basically, wage or pay discrimination occurs when a worker who belongs to a protected class is paid less than their co-workers for the same role even though they have the same qualifications and work experience. If you believe you are a victim of wage discrimination, you may have a case against your employer. But how do you prove wage discrimination?

Proving pay discrimination

One of the easiest ways of finding out if you are a victim of pay discrimination is by comparing your salary to that of co-workers who are in the same job group as you are. If your co-workers are performing the same tasks as you do, yet they are earning more, then it would be natural to wonder if pay discrimination is at play.

Proving pay discrimination in California

In order to have a pay discrimination case against your employer, you will need to prove that they are indeed violating the law. Under California Equal Pay Act, you must show that you belong to one or more classes protected under California law, and that you are being paid less than co-workers based on your protected class. Here are two things you will need to demonstrate:

  • You are performing a task that requires equal skills, effort and responsibilities as your co-workers
  • You and your co-workers are working under similar conditions

Of course, your employer may not explicitly tell you that you are earning less than your co-workers for a similar role because of your race, gender or other protected characteristic. However, knowing your rights under the law can help you prove your case and fight for fair pay for work done.