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Labor Day & the Unfair Workplace


Why is it OK for women to be paid less than men for the same job? And why is it even worse for non-White women?

As we prepare to celebrate Labor Day with families and friends, it's a good time to recognize the unfairness of what is happening every day in workplaces across the nation.


Why is it OK that women typically earn only 80 percent of what men are paid for doing the same job? That was highlighted just recently by the U.S. Women's Soccer Team following its World Cup victory because, according to U.S. Soccer, U.S. female players earn 38 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.


As defender Becky Sauerbrunn said, "The bottom line is simple. It is wrong for us to be paid and valued less for our work because of our gender."


The same unfairness exists for women in just about every line of work, and it's much worse for women of color. Why is this OK?


“Women had lower median weekly earnings than men in most of the occupations for which we have earnings data for both women and men,” a 2018 Pay Scale Report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said. And for minorities it's even worse, with black female executives earning only $0.63 for every dollar a white male executive earns.


Here are some startling facts reported by the National Partnership for Women & Families, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau:


Latinas and the Wage Gap

Latinas are typically paid 53 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The median annual pay for a Latina in the United States who holds a full-time, year- round job is $32,002, while the median annual pay for a white, non-Hispanic man who holds a full-time, year-round job is $60,388 – a difference of $28,386 per year.


Native American Women and the Wage Gap

Native American women are typically paid just 58 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The median annual pay for a Native American woman in the United States who holds a full-time, year-round job is $33,571, and the annual median wage gap between a Native American woman and a white, non-Hispanic man who each hold a full-time, year-round job is $24,443 per year.


Black Women and the Wage Gap

Black women are typically paid just 61 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The median annual pay for a Black woman in the United States who holds a full- time, year-round job is $36,735, a difference of $23,653 per year compared to a white, non-Hispanic man.


White Women and the Wage Gap

White, non-Hispanic women are typically paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The median annual pay for a white, non-Hispanic woman in the United States who holds a full-time, year-round job is $46,513, a difference of $13,875 per year compared to a white, non-Hispanic man.


Asian American Women and the Wage Gap

Asian American women are typically paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to white, non- Hispanic men. The median annual pay for an Asian American woman in the United States who holds a full-time, year-round job is $51,378, a difference of $9,010 per year.


Women Overall and the Wage Gap

Across all racial and ethnic groups, women in the United States are typically paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. The median annual pay for a woman who holds a full-time, year-round job is $41,977 while the median annual pay for a man who holds a full-time, year-round job is $52,146 – a difference of $10,169 per year.


With the recent publicity from the pay gap between female and male soccer players, these disparities have gained traction with Democratic candidates for president. We will see if anything comes of it, but as of today, women in America are being treated unfairly in the workplace, and that needs to change.


Something to think about on this Labor Day.


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