Gender-based Wage Discrimination

Physical therapy is a female dominated profession. Still, it's important for women to know their rights.

What the Law Says

Under Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act, employers who have at least 15 workers are not allowed to:

  1. Pay women less for work similar to that performed by men who have the same employer.
  2. Withhold training opportunities from women workers that are offered to men.
  3. Refuse to consider promoting women to higher paid managerial or professional positions.
  4. Set lower wages for "women's jobs" than for "men's jobs" that require equal skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions, because women "will work for less" or because "the job market" allows lower wages for women.

Under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, all employers must pay equal wages to women and men for substantially equal work. This law is effective in protecting women who work in the same kinds of jobs that men do. However, about half of all women workers hold "women's jobs". This law does not protect these workers very well, because there are few men working in the same job whose wages can be compared to those of women workers.

Reprinted with permission from "Wage Discrimination"; US Department of Labor Women's Bureau "Know Your Rights" brochure series.

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