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Equal Pay Act of
Transcript of Equal Pay Act of
Because of the large number of American women taking jobs in the war industries during World War II, the National War Labor Board urged employers in 1942 to voluntarily make "adjustments which equalize wage or salary rates paid to females with the rates paid to males for comparable quality and quantity of work on the same or similar operations."
Not only did employers fail to heed this "voluntary" request, but at the war's end most women were pushed out of their new jobs to make room for returning veterans.
The date was June 10, 1963: John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law.
Land Mark Cases
Equal pay rights expanded in 1972, with a series of key amendments to existing laws. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, signed by President Richard M. Nixon, prohibited discrimination at educational institutions receiving federal funding. The prohibited discrimination included discrimination in rates of pay or any other form of compensation, and changes in compensation. The 1972 Education Amendments also expanded the Equal Pay Act to cover executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees.
Civil Rights act of 1964- Sex was not originally among the prohibited bases of discrimination on the draft bill, but was inserted as an amendment during debate. When it passed with sex included, women gained a powerful new legal tool to fight workplace discrimination. In addition, in 1972, Congress strengthened Title VII [Civil Rights Act] by broadening its reach to public employers, educational institutions, and more private employers. As a result of these legislative changes, more women would have legal recourse for sex- based wage discrimination and other civil rights violations.
o In 1970, the Department of Labor issued sex discrimination guidelines interpreting Executive Order 11246 (prohibiting federal government contractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex) and addressed some of the more overt practices of discrimination and occupational segregation, such as advertising positions as “male help wanted” or “female help wanted”.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
History and Intent of the Equal Pay Act of 196
Corning Glass Works v. Brennan (1974), U.S. Supreme Court
Ruled that employers cannot justify paying women lower wages because that is what they traditionally received under the "going market rate." A wage differential occurring "simply because men would not work at the low rates paid women" was unacceptable.
Schultz v. Wheaton Glass Co. (1970), U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Ruled that jobs need to be "substantially equal" but not "identical" to fall under the protection of the Equal Pay Act. An employer cannot, for example, change the job titles of women workers in order to pay them less than men.
2007 the Bush administration cautioned against overzealous application of the EPA without closer examination of possible reasons for pay discrepancies. This study notes, for example, that men as a group earn higher wages in part because men dominate blue collar jobs, which are more likely to require cash payments for overtime work; in contrast, women comprise over half of the salaried white collar management workforce that is often exempted from overtime laws. In summary, the study stated:
Although additional research in this area is clearly needed, this study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.
This in a way challenged the law and its applications stating the EPA should be enforced but with in reason, unequal pay over all creating the wage gap in some cases could be due to work issues, but it could also be due to the career and employment choices of women, made freely to take a job with a lower paying wage. Not necessarily because they where fourced to or treated unequally.
Relationship to other Legislation
The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. It is job content, not job titles, that determines whether jobs are substantially equal. Specifically, the EPA provides that employers may not pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions within the same establishment.
Prohibits gender differences in pay benefits and pension for substantially equal work
The Equal Pay Act is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, and which is administered and enforced by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
o At the later end of the 1970s, another significant piece of legislation for women- the Pregnancy Discrimination Act- was signed into law by Jimmy Carter. This law amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination against pregnant workers, and to require that employers treat workers with pregnancy- related limitations the same way they treat other employees similar in their ability or inability to work.
o In 1991, Congress created the Glass Ceiling Commission to explore the challenges to women and people of color advancing in the labor force. In March 1995, the Commission issued Good for Business: Making Use of the Nation’s Human Capitol, a report documenting that women and minorities faced serious barriers to advancement to management and executive level positions.
o In 1993, William Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act.
When President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, women earned 59 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Indeed, the bill helped women make significant strides towards equality in the workforce since its passage over 50 years ago.
Today, women who work full time still earn, on average, only 78 cents for every dollar men earn. The statistics are even worse for women of color: In 2013, African-American women only earned approximately 64 cents and Latinas only 56 cents for each dollar earned by a white man.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), long-time leaders on equal pay, reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act. This bill would provide a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act by closing some of the loopholes that have made the law less effective over time. The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide stronger remedies for wage discrimination and require that employers who pay their male and female employees differently for doing the same work have a job-related, business necessity for doing so.
Importantly, the Paycheck Fairness Act would also prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about or disclose their wages. More than 60 percent of private sector workers reported that their employer either prohibits or discourages employees from discussing their pay.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex in the payment of wages or benefits
Do jobs have to be identical to be considered equal work?
When are different wages justified?
What else can be done to combat unfair pay practices?