Transgender workers earn nearly a third less than their cisgender coworkers, despite having similar levels of education and experience, a recent study shows.
The United States has more than 2 million workers who identify as transgender, so earning less impacts a significant number of working adults. Researchers with McKinsey & Company in 2021 reported transgender workers receive 32 percent less in pay than those who are doing the same job and are equally qualified.
The lack of equal pay is a serious problem for many transgender employees and may violate respective state or federal laws against discrimination.
Wide Pay Disparity for Transgender Workers
Virtually all workers who comprise the LGBTQ+ community say they are paid significantly less than their equally qualified and experienced counterparts. A recent study done by the HRC Foundation shows they are paid about 10 percent less than other workers, on average.
While 10 percent is a significant amount, it is much less than the 32 percent pay discrepancy among transgender workers. The disparity suggests transgender employees are among the least valued and lowest-paid workers regardless of their experience, education, and qualifications.
Majority of Transgender Employees Feel Excluded
The McKinsey report says more than half of transgender employees say they are not comfortable while at work. Many say they stay silent during work meetings and generally avoid socializing with coworkers.
The relative isolation of transgender employees makes it much harder for them to contest pay disparities orto simply feel included and respected while at work. Self-isolation will not help, but that often is a symptom of the workplace discrimination that occurs against transgender employees.
A lot of transgender employees say they do not feel as supported by employers as other employees. When they get paid nearly a third less than their equally qualified and experienced counterparts, the income disparity contributes to the feeling of alienation and a lack of support.
Pay Disparity Contributes to Transgender Poverty Levels
A darker side of the apparent pay disparity is its economic effect on transgender employees. Transgender people in general suffer high rates of poverty with about 22 percent living at or below the federal poverty level.
When paid almost a third less than others with similar experience and qualifications, the potential for impoverishment becomes much greater. Fortunately, you can fight pay discrimination and enforce your equal rights as a transgender employee when you retain an experienced employment attorney.
How to Fight Pay Discrimination?
Federal and many state laws say it is a type of sex discrimination to pay someone less due to gender identity. Pennsylvania and New Jersey laws ban discrimination based on gender identity, including lower rates of pay.
If you identify as transgender and are receiving less pay than your counterparts, you should retain an experienced employment lawyer to help uphold your rights. Your attorney can review your situation and help you to build a strong case that shows your employer is discriminating against you based on your gender identity.
There are steps that you must complete before a federal or state-level lawsuit could be filed. Those include filing a discrimination complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
When the commission affirms discrimination has occurred, employees can file lawsuits against their employers or other offending parties.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff Pincus & Green Fight Workplace Discrimination
If you are experiencing workplace discrimination of any kind, the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff Pincus & Green can help to uphold your rights. You can call 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients who throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.