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Work/ Career

Is there any relief for a man who is not receiving equal pay for equal work? My son was hired as a sales manager at a carpet store was promised, but was never compensated for his work. The other managers also sell carpet but get an extra $1,000 a month for the extra work. The young man before him got this. After several months of not getting paid (and a ton of excuses and more promises), my son said he would like to just sell carpet again, as his duties as manager kept him from completing many sales. The sales people get paid a small salary and depend on the commissions to survive. They promised him if he stayed they would change his title to "assistant manager" from "sales manager". He responded that he needed the money from commissions and the long hours he was putting in were trying. It would have been different if he was getting compensated, but, alas the store hadn't been showing good profits as the last manager "screwed things up". My son has been doing his job as salesman again for about 4 months, and the store is doing poorly without a sales manager so they just hired another salesman for the job and are paying him the extra money.

Isn't there any laws that protect men against men, or women against women? I am a woman and believe that I can be taken advantage of by a woman boss as well as a male boss. Is there no laws requiring equity for people of like gender or race? If there are, could you let me know, I have been finding nothing much about this. Everything seems to be discrimination on race or sex. Could it be true that a gay boss can make a gay employee's life miserable and there is nowhere to seek justice?

Can an African-American boss not fairly pay an African-American employee (same sex and sexual preferance of course) and be afforded no relief? This is the true inequality in our society. Does an employee need to find some innate difference between himself or herself to be treated fairly? Wasn't it Darwin who thought he wasn't liked by the powers that be because his nose was too big? Maybe we could use that. I guess I am just venting to someone that will listen because I am , no doubt, sending this to another woman! Thank you - Nancy


Yes, I am a woman and I certainly heard your frustration. Actually the way that job discrimination laws are structured are not solely structured around race or gender - they are about ensuring that employees are paid the same for the same job. The way that equal pay laws are structured is to ensure that the same person makes the same amount of money for doing the same job. The problem with the law is that some employers avoid upholding it because they make up differences based on education and experience.

In your son's instance, it sounds like they might be making a difference based on age - and justifying the unequal pay base that way. You can and certainly should file a complaint if that is the case.

However, you have to keep in mind that this is exactly what feminists have been fighting for - equal pay for work of equal value - regardless of the race, gender, sexuality, or age of the employee and employer. Good luck to you and to your son.


Amy

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