By: Lori T. Williams, Owner/Managing Attorney of Your Legal Resource, PLLC Technology seems to infiltrate all areas of our life already. However, a recent challenge to create an application to equalize wage disparity between men and women could have ground breaking implications. The Obama Administration, through the United States Department of Labor, has issued an Equal Pay App Challenge. According to Hilda Solis, the US Secretary of Labor, this Challenge is to create an App that will inspire Americans to develop creative ways to provide information, guidance and support to working women in an attempt to close the pay gap. The Department of Labor encourages those creating apps to link their submissions to current educational websites, such as websites that inform visitors of salary information for specific positions in a given geographical location, and the EEOC. Winners are eligible for five scholarships that encourage entrepreneurs and/or technologically savvy individuals to come forth with their ideas. All submissions are due by March 24, 2012 and the winner will be announced on April 17, 2012.
According to local employment law attorney, Danielle Sigler, “equalizing wages between men and women is a crucial issue for employers and employees alike. I consult on hiring decisions and recruit for my corporate clients who are all looking to make their workforce more diverse. However, I see every day that women who are offered jobs, accept the positions and are content that they were even offered a job; while the males who are offered positions realize that the negotiation has not yet begun. Educating women on how to negotiate effectively can have an amazing impact on pay inequality and will set the bar higher for our daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers.” When the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, women were earning 59 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Today, the average woman earns 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. This number is less for minority women, according to Hilda Solis. In an April 11, 2011 statement about Equal Pay Day, Solis notes that “African American females are earning $.70 on the dollar compared to men and Latinas earn only $.60. This is over $150 less per week, $8000 less per year and over $380,000 less over a lifetime.” Sigler notes, “it will be interesting to see what ideas people come up with in their apps, as well as the impact it will have for women. I see this as an educational tool for women who are graduating college and just entering the workforce, a resource for women who have been in the workforce for years without the proper tools to succeed, and a challenge for companies that may begin to see women more aggressively demanding their worth!” Sigler also believes that the App Challenge is “a great way to spread the word on unequal pay and foster real change for women everywhere. As an employment attorney, I am proud to see our country use technology in such a unique way that it encourages anyone to have a broad impact on our workforce and society. It reminds us that we can all use our unique talents to make a difference in this world.” ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————- Danielle Sigler is an experienced Employment Law Expert and Litigator, located in Farmington Hills, MI. Her practice includes representation of small businesses and management individuals in litigation relating to violation of The Family Medical Leave Act, Michigan and Federal Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act, Persons with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and more. Her focus is on drafting employment documents, policies, manuals, contracts, and restrictive covenants, while also consulting corporate clients in litigation avoidance and workforce diversification.