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Wage gap for women takes center stage at debate

The difference between the average earnings for men and women in the United States gained renewed national attention this week after a young woman posed the problem of the wage gap to the two men running for president. During the second presidential debate, an audience member asked both candidates what they would do to combat the wage gap, which is now averaging 72 cents on the dollar nationally.

Both candidates had some thoughts on the best ways to improve women's standing in the workplace, but the discussion didn't stop at the end of the stage. Instead, the problem of the wage gap has become a major discussion topic for many media outlets.

Here in Pennsylvania, women still only make 66 cents for every dollar that men make. That statistic may be shocking for people who believed the wage gap was closing or was closer to 80 cents on the dollar. However, it represents a sad reality for many women who are working to support themselves and their families and continue to do the same work as men for less money.

The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay workers with the same job and the same qualifications equally. However, the situation is often not very clear cut and many women don't know if they are being paid less than their male counterparts. Since equal pay requirements also rest on job performance, previous experience, seniority, and other similar factors, it can be difficult to determine when someone is the victim is pay discrimination.

Our Pittsburgh law firm handles equal pay lawsuits and other employment discrimination suits. More information is available on our website.

Source: Slate, "Map Shows the Worst State for Women to Make Money," Chris Kirk, Oct. 18, 2012

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