Perhaps you have been working at a dead-end job for the past few years. You spend your days in a hostile environment, you deserve a raise that never comes, and you have been passed over for promotion.

You are considering filing a claim against your employer based on unequal pay. How should you go about that and how can you manage your dead-end job in the meantime?

First things first

If your job description is the same as that of a co-worker and you have the same responsibilities, your rate of pay should also be the same. However, if you have discovered that the co-worker’s salary is higher than yours, your next step is to discuss the matter with your supervisor or with human resources. If the issue as you describe it is falling on deaf ears, it may be time for you to seek legal guidance.

How to continue working

Setting the wheels of a lawsuit in motion should lighten your load a bit, but what if your co-workers find out and start pestering you with questions? Your best course of action is simply to tell them that you cannot talk about the lawsuit until it is over.

Meanwhile, try taking a different attitude toward your workday. Look at this job you hate as an opportunity to turn out your best work. Hone your skills, treat colleagues who contribute to the toxic environment with diplomacy and replace frowning with your best smile. In other words, develop a thicker skin and a more positive attitude. You will feel better and the day will go more quickly.

No social media

When the dead-end job seems overwhelming, reserve some time with a good friend and vent; it will ease the tension you feel. However, remember not to vent on social media either about your job woes or the lawsuit. You do not want to put any information online that could be detrimental to your claim.

Time limits

You have two years to file a lawsuit concerning unequal pay, but the sooner the better. You want to put the current work problems behind you so that you can move on, hopefully to a great new job with a salary to match.