By Donita Naylor
The Providence Journal, R.I.
Rhode Islanders who want to report gender-based wage discrimination can do so with a phone call, now that Governor Raimondo has launched the R.I. Pay Equity Tip Line.
“In Rhode Island, we want to make sure work pays,” Raimondo said. “Ensuring paycheck fairness is important for women, it creates opportunities for families, and it strengthens our economy.” She said the new tool “will empower us to hold employers accountable and lift up those who aren’t earning equal pay for equal work.”
The tip line, (401) 462-WAGE, which is (401) 462-9243, is operated by the state Department of Labor and Training. One of the department’s duties is to enforce labor laws and investigate wage complaints and hiring violations, a news release from the department and the governor’s office said.
Instead of calling, people can lodge a complaint about pay disparity on the DLT website, www.dlt.ri.gov, by clicking on the Equal Pay for Equal Work icon and completing the online form. Calls and complaints can be made anonymously, but providing more information will help the department investigate the claim, the release said.
Staff members are trained in handling anonymous calls, the release said.
“This tip line will help our investigators find instances where employers are violating fundamental principles of fairness so we can do something about it,” said Scott R. Jensen, the governor’s nominee to lead the department.
The department’s work force regulation and safety team will operate the tip line, follow up on leads, and investigate complaints, the news release said.
State law gives the department the authority to enforce equal pay between the sexes across the board. Wage discrimination based on gender violates the law, regardless of whether the victim is a man or a woman.
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If a man files a pay disparity complaint, the department would investigate whether the action triggering the complaint was based on gender.