In this INSIDER EXCLUSIVE Investigative Network TV Special, our News Team “Goes Behind The Headlines” in EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK – Dr Michele Taylor’s Story ….. to examine how La Shawn Williams, Principal, L.A. Williams Law Firm, P.C., is representing Dr Michele Taylor, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School – Texas Southern University for Equal Pay for Equal Work.
On April 12, 2014, President Obama addressed the nation and underscored the importance of ensuring equal pay for equal work and highlighted the steps his Administration has taken to expand opportunity and narrow the pay gap that exists between men and women, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. At the same time, on Equal Pay Day, the President took action to increase transparency and make it easier to recognize pay discrimination.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012, women who worked full time earned, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar men earned. The figures are even worse for women of color. African American women earned only approximately 64 cents and Latinas only 54 cents for each dollar earned by a white male.
In Congress, pending legislation entitled “The Paycheck Fairness Act”, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski intends to make it illegal for employers to retaliate against a worker who inquires about or discloses her or his wages or the wages of another employee in a complaint or investigation.
It also would make employers liable to civil actions. And as part of this bill, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would be required to collect pay information from employers.
The bill would update the Equal Pay Act of 1963, a law that has not been able to achieve its promise of closing the wage gap because of limited enforcement tools and inadequate remedies. The Paycheck Fairness Act would make critical changes to the law.
The time has come to make equal pay a reality. During this climate of unprecedented economic uncertainty, nothing could be more important than ensuring that all workers receive equal pay for equal work.
For Dr. Michele Taylor, the time came when she could no longer accept being not only under-paid, but compensated far less than her male counter-parts. After almost 33 years of services at Texas Southern University, Dr. Taylor is approaching a time where she must seriously consider retirement. Such a consideration brought to mind her dedicated service to the University and its students at a pay rate she had to continually fight to receive, albeit unequal. Year after year, Dr. Taylor fought for raises and compensation which would bring her to the compensation guidelines touted in the University’s compensation plan. And still, to date, Dr. Taylor earns just over the minimum salary for a newly hired dean. Her male counterparts earn $20,000 to $30,000.00 more!
When women succeed, our families succeed and America succeeds. President Obama believes that ensuring that women earn equal pay for equal work is essential to improving the economic security of our families and the growth of our middle class and our economy. Women compose nearly half of the American workforce.
Since day one, President Obama has been laser-focused on ensuring women have the fundamental rights they deserve when it comes to earning a fair and equal wage. The first piece of legislation that the President signed into law after taking office was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which empowers women to recover wages lost to discrimination by extending the time period in which an employee can file a claim.
Yet a central challenge that remains to enforcing equal pay laws is that many women do not even know that they are underpaid, and therefore cannot take steps to ensure equal pay for equal work.
Dr. Taylor’s main challenge is identifying men similarly situated or in an “identical position” as her. The law requires that Dr. Taylor show that men similarly situated to her earn more money.
Advocates for pay equity say that a major challenge to enforcing equal pay laws is secrecy about what people are paid. Some employers maintain policies that punish workers who voluntarily share salary information with coworkers, according to the National Women’s Law Center.
While Texas Southern University’s conduct is not unique because several universities in Texas and across the nation have been accused of unequal pay, this is yet another negative circumstance for Texas Southern University – a historically black institution, which has received substantial bad media press over the years. This case represented on a national level could have serious implications for the college.
La Shawn has earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one of the best Trial lawyers in Houston…. InTexas….. and in the United States.
Her goals….. Not ONLY To get Justice for her clients…but to make sure that everyone is treated with equal respect and dignity as guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States. She has built a substantial reputation by consistently winning cases other law firms have turned down.
Her amazing courtroom skills and headline grabbing success rate continue to provide her clients with the results they need……And the results they deserve.
Please contact La Shawn Williams, Principal, L.A. Williams Law Firm, P.C. 713-622-9171 L.A. Williams Law Firm