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The Pandemic Could Widen the Pay Gap–Minimizing Efforts of Equality

Apr 7

According to SHRM, in 2021, women still only earn 82 cents for every $1 earned by men. While strides have been made to tighten the gap in pursuit of equal pay for equal work, the pandemic is likely to widen the pay gap and minimize the efforts made towards pay equality. Now, with many American’s unemployed, this is likely to further perpetuate the wage issue.

Unemployment’s Wage Penalty: A Major Issue For Women

The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data provides the harsh reality women in the workplace have felt as a result of the events of 2020. In September 2020, 865,000 women left the labor force—more than four times the number of men.

When you consider how many of these men and women then went on to collect unemployment because of COVID-19 related job loss, you may think, at least there was some support. However, the unspoken unemployment wage penalty has disproportionately impacted women.

Consider this: Research by PayScale showed that people who are unemployed when they get a job offer will likely incur a 4% wage penalty, and those who are unemployed for a year or longer receive a 7.3% wage penalty.

However, now as women reenter the job market, they are likely to experience wage penalties as a result of being unemployed. Coupled with the discrimination working mothers have faced since the onset of COVID-19, women will continue to be heavily impacted by the pandemic.

In addition to the gender wage gap, the gender-race gap will also be impacted. Studies show the following:

While these are systemic challenges that employers and employees alike must face together, for employees who know their wage stance is based on discriminatory practices, they need a legal team to help them navigate the process.

New York Employment Discrimination Attorneys, Pandemic Wage Gap

The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for many of us. But if you’ve faced unemployment and now believe it’s impacted your wages as a result of discriminatory practices, it may be unmanageable. But your employer should not discriminate against you for occurrences outside of your control. If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, contact the New York employment attorneys of Brown Kwon & Lam today.

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