I'm Being Paid Less Than My Male Coworker. What Can I Do?

Understanding the Kentucky Civil Rights

The Kentucky Civil Rights Act makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a certain employee based on their gender, race, color, religion, national origin or age—especially when it comes to wages. More specifically, KY Rev. Stat. Sec. 344.100 states that an employer could only apply different standards of compensation if it is based on a bona fide seniority or merit system. This means that men and women must be paid equally if they hold the same positions.

Examples of gender discrimination in the workplace include:

  • Refusing to hire or promote someone based on their gender
  • Paying a male employee more than a female for the same position
  • Refusing to hire or promote a woman because she is pregnant
  • Refusing to hire a woman because she intends to become pregnant
  • Making unfounded assumptions based on an employee’s gender

By law, men and women are entitled to equal pay if they perform the same jobs in the same company. This not only refers to salary, but also bonuses, benefits, overtime pay and stock options. If you are being paid less than a coworker of the opposite sex even though you have been asked to perform the same duties, you may have a claim for gender discrimination. Speak to a Louisville employment attorney at Biesecker Dutkanych & Macer, LLC to learn more.

How do I prove that I am being paid less?

Although you may suspect that you are being paid less than a male coworker for the same job, you cannot take legal action against your employer unless you actually have proof. Making a case for pay discrimination isn’t always easy, but there are a few simple steps that you can take to find out where you fall on the company pay scale. Some of these steps include:

#1: Ask your coworker how much they are making.
Although this may be a step that you are unwilling to take, it is important to understand that it is your right to ask. According to the National Labor Relations Act, you have the right to discuss your pay with other employees at the company, as long as they are not in a supervisory position. Your employer cannot legally tell you that you are prohibited from discussing your pay with other employees.

#2: Ask a former coworker how much they were making.
If your coworkers are unwilling to discuss how much they make, or you simply don’t want to ask, you may have better luck asking a former colleague. If you have a good relationship with a former coworker of the opposite sex, you may want to ask them how much they made while working at the company. If they made more than you for the same work, this could help you prove pay discrimination.

#3: Look at public records filed with the SEC.
If your company is required to file documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or another government agency, these public records may include employee pay records. Similarly, severance agreements may become public record in SEC filings, which could shed light on how much a particular employee was making. A simple online search could provide you with this information.

I have proof that a coworker is making more – what now?

If you already have proof that your male coworker is being paid more than you for the same job, the first step you should take is to discuss your case with an employment lawyer in Louisville. With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, Biesecker Dutkanych & Macer, LLC can help you build an effective case. We only advocate for the rights of employees, never employers, so you can trust that our legal team will have your best interests in mind.

Contact our office today to set up a free initial consultation!

Categories: Discrimination