HR Alert: The Gender Pay Gap and Why Employers Should be Wary

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You may be aware that March 14th each year is Equal Pay Day, and while that date has passed this year, it’s important that your employees are treated fairly every day.

One of the greatest challenges the U.S. labor market faces is the gender pay gap. Yet, there’s been little progress to remedy this. As a result, in the last 20 years, the gap has remained relatively stable. Stated differently, the gap hasn’t shrunk.

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2022, women earned an average of 82% of what men earned. To put this in perspective in 2002 women earned 80% as much as men. A two percentage point improvement over two decades isn’t impressive growth.

Looking even closer at New York State in 2021, women earned 88.2 cents for every dollar earned by a man. However, the gender pay gap is even wider when looking at women of color. For Black or African American women in New York, the gap is 67.8 cents for every dollar. For Hispanic and Latiné women, it’s 62.9 cents per dollar. At the same time, the national average was 81.5 cents per dollar.

In most industries and at every wage level, women on average earn less money than men. This is especially apparent in low-wage, gender-segregated occupations such as childcare. Additionally, women still are more likely to temporarily leave the workforce or to reduce hours in order to raise children. In fact, being a mother can reduce women’s earnings, while fatherhood can increase men’s earnings according to the Pew Research Center.

There’ve been improvements to the gender wage gap over time, but to date, in general, women remain undervalued for their work. If there’s a claim, this wage gap can be used as evidence of gender discrimination, and if a man and woman have equivalent skills and experience, it’ll be difficult to explain away why the woman is paid less for her services. Not only is The Coppola Firm a proud woman-owned business, but we’re here to help employers with all their employment needs including ensuring equity across your pay scale to protect against the risk of a discrimination claim.

Call us at 716.839.9700 or reach out at with any questions.

Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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