Sexual Harassment and the Gender Pay Gap

According to recent statistics, a substantial wage gap exists between men and women. For the last two decades, the gap has sat at around 20%, with men earning roughly one-fifth more than women. In some situations, where pay disparity exists, it may be possible to show sex discrimination. For example, if you are able to show that you were passed over for a job or a promotion, or paid less because of your gender you may be able to file a claim for sexual discrimination pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

However, research and anecdotal evidence has revealed that women make less money due to sexual harassment they face at work – often because they leave toxic environments and higher paying positions where harassment may be more often tolerated. A study out of Vanderbilt University concluded that regardless of job type, women who face sexual harassment at work are 6-7 times more likely to leave their jobs. One study showed that 80% of women who have experienced sexual harassing behavior – such as unwanted touching, offensive jokes and other behaviors – have left their jobs within 2 years. Many times, these workers leave and take jobs in less toxic environments – often female friendly work places with lower pay.

As explained by the author of a recent study, “a higher paycheck isn’t worth the difficulties of staying in a hostile workplace. Women who experience harassment can lose their drive or develop anxiety and depression, any of which can have an adverse effect on productivity or performance.” In turn, this may lead to fewer opportunities for professional advancement and higher earning power.

At Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP we are committed to equality and the elimination of any form of sexual discrimination and harassment at work. If you believe that you have suffered employment discrimination, we urge you to contact our dedicated Atlanta sexual harassment lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate, confidential case evaluation.

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