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Wage discrimination affects a broad range of workers

New York residents may be interested in some statistics on wage discrimination. Though the issue of equal pay is usually seen as a women's issue, wage discrimination cases alleging discrimination because of a person's gender are filed by both women and men.

A look at data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows that about 15 percent of gender-based wage discrimination claims over the past four fiscal years were filed by males. Most wage discrimination claims are filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but some gender-based wage cases are filed under the Equal Pay Act. In addition to gender-based claims, many wage d claims allege discrimination based on other factors including age, race, religion, nationality and disability.

Data from the period studied shows that most wage discrimination cases filed were based on race and gender. Almost one-fifth of wage discrimination claims were based on age. Slightly less than that were based on national origin and disability, with religion or genetic information as a basis for discrimination representing the lowest percentage of work discrimination claims.

Employers with 100 or more employees are required to submit documents that contain demographic information about their work forces. The Obama administration updated the Employer Information Report, which must be submitted by employers annually, to include pay data.

Equal pay for equal work should be a basic right, but employers do have some leeway in making decisions about pay, work assignments, promotions, hiring and terminating employees. When a claim against an employer is filed, regardless of the outcome, workers are also protected by law against employer retaliation. Retaliatory action could include termination, reduction of work hours, pay cuts, or creating or contributing to a hostile work environment.

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