Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How Do I Prove I'm Paid Less Than My Male Co-Workers?

A recent article in Newsweek discussed the continuing pay gap between men and women, and suggested some reasons why women still make less than their male colleagues. Another recent story discussed how female doctors are paid less than male doctors. I'm not going to argue here whether or not the pay gap is real. Instead, I want to discuss that, at least in some workplaces, women are paid less than men for the same work. The Newsweek article contained a disturbing statement: "But in many workplaces, discussing pay is frowned upon; in some, it's a dismissible offense. So, like Ledbetter, women often don't know when they're getting paid less than men." Lilly Ledbetter, the pay discrimination victim who lost her case and inspired a law, found out about how much less she made than her male colleagues when she got an anonymous note.

If you aren't lucky enough to get a note from someone brave enough to tell you that you're a victim of discrimination, how do you go about proving pay discrimination? Here are eight ways you can find out if your male colleagues make more than you for the same work:

To read more, see the rest of my article in AOL Jobs.


  1. whatever happened to the concept that salaries are a negotiated item and agreed upon by an employer and employee not determined by a third party?
    i guess i just am not an advocate of slave labor even when that slave is being paid like the average progressive is.

  2. Hi griper. You guess? That made me chuckle. Equal pay for equal is the law, as it should be. Employers need to stop trying to cheat their female employees out of wages.

    I wish progressives were paid more than others. :) But that's a wish that will never be fulfilled. It's more likely to go the other way in the present political climate.

  3. thanks for dropping my little home in cyberspace, Donna. it was good to see you.
    and while i'll agree that it is law and as a lawyer it is your job to see that the law is followed, that doesn't mean that it is a good law. so, just citing the fact that it is the law isn't a very good defense, in my books, for making people dependent upon government for how much money they make. :)


I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.