The U.N sent an expert delegation to United States to gather data and impressions from numerous government agencies, including the Departments of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice. The initial findings conclude that women in the United States have “missing rights” compared to the rest of the world. For instance, the U.S. is one of three countries in the world that does not guarantee women paid maternity leave, according to the U.N. International Labor Organization. The U.N. suggests that countries guarantee at least 14 weeks of paid parental leave. “The lack of accommodation in the workplace to women’s pregnancy, birth and post-natal needs is shocking,” one of the experts said. “Unthinkable in any society, and certainly in one of the richest societies in the world.”
The findings also stressed that while women in general are the harmed by these missing rights, the most vulnerable are those who are poorer, older, or disabled. The findings also found that minority women were more likely to be harmed by the lack of pregnancy accommodations.
The U.N. findings confirm what is unfortunately well known by many American citizens.. According to a Pew Research Center survey in 2014, Women are far more likely than men to see gender discrimination in today’s society. About two-thirds (65%) of women say they have faced discrimination because of their gender. In general, both men and women believe that workplace discrimination persists. The Pew study found that 77% of women and 63% of men agree that the United States “needs to continue making changes to give men and women equality in the workplace.”
The fact that women consistently make less than men is well known. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time working women typically earn less than their male counterparts. Concretely, in 2015, females earned on average 23% less than their male colleagues who performed the same job, which means that women have to work approximately 60 extra days, or about three extra months, to earn what men did by the end of the previous year.
The gender pay gap is greater for minority women. White women earned an average of 24% less per week than white men in 2015. However African American women earned an average of 34% less than white men and Hispanic/Latino females earn up to 49% less, on average, than white males.
Despite of the gender inequality in the workplace, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and is administered and enforced by the Equal Employment Office Commission. According to EPA, no employer shall discriminate between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex for equal work for jobs which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to :
– A seniority system;
– A merit system;
– A system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
– A differential based on any other factor other than sex
An individual who has been paid discriminatorily based on gender may bring a lawsuit demanding the unpaid wages, along with other damages.