Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act (EPA), it is illegal for an employer to pay female employees less than their male counterparts doing the same job tasks and responsibilities. Despite significant advances with regard to women’s rights, there are still many female employees who do not receive equal compensation in the workplace. This is the widespread gender pay gap facing women today.
Lieff Cabraser partner Anne B. Shaver, who specializes in employment discrimination cases, discussed this critical issue with Glamour Magazine. Amidst Glamour’s solid offering of advice on what women who suspect that they are being paid unfairly can do, Shaver raises some important cautions, like noting that employees need to be careful about seeking salary information in areas of a company to which they don’t have legitimate access, and warning about the dangers of arbitration, particular in situations where employers required employees to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement upon hiring. “They take away your right to your day in court, and the arbitrators are heavily skewed in favor of the employers,” Shaver observes.
As Glamour notes, “If the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission or your own attorney believes your employer has broken the law, they will suggest whether to sue under the EPA (which strictly prohibits pay discrimination based on sex) or Title VII (which covers broader workplace discrimination, including race, and only applies to companies with 15 or more employees; this also requires first filing an EEOC charge). Many women end up suing under both.”
“I really have admiration for my clients,” stated Ms. Shaver, “because they’re not just standing up for themselves, they’re standing up for all women.”
Upholding Employee Rights
Lieff Cabraser has a strong tradition of fighting for employee rights across America. Our employment law class action cases challenge discrimination based on employees’ race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, as well as wage violations and misuse of employees’ retirement benefits.
Ms. Shaver is a partner in our San Francisco office whose practice focuses on employment law cases. A 2007 graduate of University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Berkeley Law), she was a student director of the Workers’ Rights Clinic of Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, and a volunteer at the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center. She is active in wage and hour, employment discrimination, and antitrust cases.