2021Equal Pay

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day that takes place every year on March 8th to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality, which includes equal pay for men and women who perform the same type of job. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first gathering supported by over a million people in 1911.

The IWD campaign theme for 2021 is “Choose To Challenge” and seeks to call out gender bias and inequality to help create a more inclusive world. Individuals and organizations are invited to strike the Choose To Challenge pose by raising their hand up high and share the image on social media using the #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021 hashtags to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.

IWD sees a number of missions to help forge a gender equal world that include building inclusive workplace cultures where the careers of women thrive and their achievements are celebrated. This International Women’s Day for 2021 comes at a moment of crisis for women, as millions of women have been driven out of the workforce by COVID-19 and many more are struggling with burnout, considering downshifting careers, or leaving jobs.

COVID-19 has disrupted the workplace in ways never seen before, as the “Women in the Workplace” report for 2020 revealed that a major crisis is emerging where more than one in four women are thinking about potentially downshifting their careers or even leaving the workforce and many past gains of measurable progress could be wiped out as a significant number of women may leave their jobs due to the impact of COVID-19.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a potentially deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of March 8, 2021, there are approximately 116 million global cases and 2.5 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 28.9 million cases and 525,000 deaths, according to research by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

To help working women, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – a government agency that advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – can bring equal pay discrimination lawsuits against employers who allegedly violate the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibit sex-based wage discrimination.

According to the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE), the gender wage gap has narrowed by less than one-half a penny per year in the United States since Congress passed the EPA in 1963. Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that women earned 80 percent of what men earned in 2015. As a result, laws prohibiting employers from asking about salary history have increased to narrow the gender pay gap.

As of March 2021, salary history question bans exist in many major American cities. In addition, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin have passed statewide laws. HRDive keeps a list of states and localities that have salary history bans.

“When an employer has a background screening firm perform past employment verifications, it is critical that firm knows which cities, counties, and states prohibit salary history questions, or else that employer could be fined,” explained background check expert Attorney Lester Rosen, the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) and the author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual.’

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider that was ranked the number one background screening firm by HRO Today in 2020 – offers employers three levels of flexible and customizable employment verifications that provide the salary history of applicants only if permitted by state and local equal pay laws. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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