A study out of the University of Houston Institute for Research on Women, Gender & Sexuality found that the wage gap between men and women is of particular concern in Texas. The researchers report that the gender gap is higher than the national average and that the average woman in Texas makes 69.4 cents on the dollar made by the average man.
The data is important for employers and employees alike, as employers work to avoid these claims and employees try to better ensure they receive fair pay for their work. Workers who believe that they are the victims of discrimination may file suit against their employers which can lead to a long and costly legal battle.
How do discrimination lawsuits work?
A recent high-profile case provides an example. In this case a group of women filed the discrimination case against Goldman Sachs. 2,800 woman were part of the suit, filed in 2010. These women included vice presidents and other executives who claimed they were victims of gender discrimination by the investment banking, management, and securities divisions within Goldman.
Goldman, facing trial next month, recently agreed to settle the matter after more than a decade of negotiations. The terms of the settlement include:
- Monetary payment. The financial institution agreed to pay $215 million to the plaintiffs.
- Pay equity studies. A third party will review the business’ pay structure so it can address any potential gender pay gaps.
- Additional training. Executives within Goldman have also agreed to have independent experts evaluate its promotion and hiring processes and provide training on how to mitigate the risk of similar allegations in the future.
The case highlights the continued problem with gender pay gaps and the importance of regular internal audits so businesses can check for any similar issues and make changes before the matter escalates into a costly lawsuit.