Professional. Personal. Passionate.

Bridging the wage gap in Florida’s workforce

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2024 | Wage and Hour Law

Equal pay for male and female workers has long been a hot-button issue. Federal, state and local governments across the country have attempted to shrink the wage gap with varying degrees of success, but too many women continue to earn less than men in the same roles.

The gender pay gap is more than just a buzzword; it’s a persistent issue that affects real people. In Florida, women earn 85 cents for every dollar earned by men. This gap widens for women of color. Whether you are an employee or an employer, you must know what the laws say about fair pay and what we can do to close the earnings gap.

Florida’s legal landscape

Florida law is clear: pay discrimination based on gender is illegal. The Florida Civil Rights Act prohibits such practices, aligning with federal laws like the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Employers must ensure they’re not only compliant but also champions of fair compensation.

Despite these laws, the gender pay gap stubbornly persists due to several factors, from occupational segregation and unconscious bias to negotiation practices and career interruptions.

Best practices for fair compensation

There are many steps we can take to close the wage gap here in Florida.

  • Conduct regular pay audits: Periodic audits by employers can identify pay discrepancies.
  • Transparent salary ranges: Be open about pay scales to prevent inequality.
  • Ongoing education: Keep both employees and employers informed about their rights and responsibilities.

The duty to pay workers fairly falls largely on employers. However, workers can also protect themselves by taking legal action against discriminatory pay practices that employers do not remedy.

Empowerment through action

The journey toward pay equity is a collective endeavor that requires commitment from both employers and employees in Florida. It’s about building a future where every individual’s contributions are valued equally, and their compensation reflects that.

Workers who feel their employer underpays them and employers who worry about their compensation practices can discuss their concerns with an attorney. Solutions through negotiation, mediation and litigation can help fill the wage gap one case at a time.