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How to address gender pay gaps

American women make about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. However, the wage gap throughout New York and the rest of the country varies based on a woman's profession. For instance, a female lawyer makes about 76 percent of that of a male counterpart. The discrepancy in wages is smaller for registered nurses as women earn about 91 percent of what a man in the same role earns.

Wholesale/retail buyer is the one profession in which women actually make more than men, according to data from the American Association of University Women. In addition to profession, where a woman works could influence how much of a wage gap she may face. For instance, women in California make 89 cents for every dollar made by a man. It goes down to 69 cents for Louisiana women.

While gender discrimination may be part of why women are paid less than their male counterparts, that may not fully explain the wage gap. Advocates are urging women to negotiate higher pay and better benefits for themselves whenever possible. Other factors that could explain the wage gap include the fact that women might be more likely to take time off to care for family members. Female workers may also be more likely to work on a part-time basis.

Someone who feels that they are not being paid fairly might want to consider hiring an attorney to help with their case. State and federal law both call for a minimum wage and other protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act. If those or other rules are ignored by an employer, employees may be entitled to financial relief. This may include receiving back pay or overtime pay that was incorrectly withheld for an unlawful reason.

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