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Women have to sue to be paid equally. Seriously?

The gender gap in pay has narrowed since 1980, but it has remained relatively stable over the past 15 years or so. In 2017, women earned 82% of what men earned, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of median hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers in the United States. Based on this estimate, it would take an extra 47 days of work for women to earn what men did in 2017. Given the pay gap in America between men and women, women have legal remedies to sue in cases of illegal discrimination that results in pay disparities.  The following state and federal laws provide legal remedies for discrimination-based pay gaps between men and women.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)

Title VII makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of their sex and makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

An amendment to Title VII makes it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)

This law makes it illegal to pay different wages to men and women if they perform equal work in the same workplace. The law also makes it illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Tennessee Human Rights Act

At the state level, the Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA) prohibits employment practices that discriminate against applicants and employees based on their sex.

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