According to published and unpublished charge filings data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, workers in California and the rest of the United States who belong to different groups are victims of wage discrimination. These results are contrary to how the issue of equal pay is addressed in public discourse, which categorizes it as an issue that affects only women.
The EEOC data from the past four fiscal years indicates that in addition to women, men, workers who are disabled and older workers are some of the groups who file wage discrimination claims. Pinpointing the difficulties workers encounter and developing solution to address workers' needs depend on having a clear understanding of wage discrimination.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the law under which most wage discrimination claims are filed. These include claims based on one's national origin, race, religion and gender. People who claim wage discrimination based on gender also file charges under the Equal Pay Act. During the period analyzed, almost one-fifth of all charges of wage discrimination related to a worker's age. A somewhat smaller portion of charges pertained to wage discrimination because of the worker's disability. Critics of enhancing equal pay protections refute unequal pay concerns by arguing that wage discrimination is a women's choice issue. The EEOC data is an important tool in disputing this assertion.
The stereotypes workers encounter because of their age, race, gender or disability status can result in their work being undervalued and in reduced pay. This can overwhelm working families who find it difficult to pay their bills. People who have been the victims of this type of discrimination may want to meet with an employment law attorney to learn what recourse might be available.