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Study: Women in West Virginia face a particularly large wage gap

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2018 | Blog

Like all West Virginia workers, you want to be treated fairly. This is particularly the case when it comes to pay. After all, your pay level can have a considerable impact on your life and family.

In a perfect world, all employees would be paid fairly for their work and no employee would have to face being paid less due to things such as their gender. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in. There are certain things that raise serious concerns as to whether women in the workforce are paid fairly. One is the gender pay gap: The general disparity between what men and women make here in the United States.

Estimates indicate that every state in the nation has a wage gap in which men, on average, get paid more than women. The size of the gap varies between the states.

The pay gap in West Virginia

You may be concerned to hear that West Virginia has one of the largest wage gaps in the country. According to estimates from recent research, when it comes to year-round full-time workers, women are on average paid 72 cents on the dollar compared to men in the state. Only two states have a larger gap: Louisiana and Utah.

When discrimination is behind wage disparities

Many things could lead to lower wages among female workers. One is discriminatory pay practices against women by employers.

What can women do if they believe an employer is discriminating against them when it comes to pay? In some instances, legal action could be possible. There are various laws against gender-based pay discrimination. This includes federal laws such as the Equal Pay Act and Title VII.

Now, bringing a claim of gender-based pay discrimination can have challenges, including difficulties in proving such discrimination has occurred. What particular options a given female worker might have regarding such claims and what difficulties she could encounter during the pursuit of justice depend on the particular circumstances surrounding the alleged pay discrimination.

Are stronger protections needed?

Some argue that the continued presence of a significant gender pay gap is indicative that the current laws aimed at curtailing pay disparities between men and women are not enough. Various legislation has been proposed aimed at further combatting the wage gap. One wonders what the future will hold for such legislation and what protections and options are available to women in the workforce here in the West Virginia when it comes to pay gap issues.

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