Equal Pay Act

Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) with the intent to end the disparity in wages between men and women. The amendment argued that sex discrimination depressed wages and living standards for employees, hindered full employment, caused labor disputes that in turn affected commerce, and violated free and fair competition. The crucial part of the amendment: “No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs[,] the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex…”

Commentary

US Capitol building

Darrel Issa’s Government Handover

January 05, 2011

Cry Wolf Quotes

Proponents of Federal equal pay at times say that variations in State laws indicate a need for a Federal law which will promote uniformity. Such a contention is unsound. A certain amount of experimentation is desirable to find the type of law that works best. The efforts in the 22 States [with equal pay laws already on the books] amount, in effect, to laboratories of experiment….This opportunity for the 50 States to learn from one another is highly desirable. It would be forever lost once Federal legislation takes effect.

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William Miller representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, House Hearing.
03/26/1963 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act

Certain specific provisions of these bills are bound to result in extensive governmental intervention in employer-employee relations….These terms ‘comparable character’ and ‘comparable skills’ do not necessarily mean the same job. In fact, they are so general and so vague as to give an administrator a grant of power which could destroy the sound wage structure which many industrial companies have worked for years to perfect.

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Statement of the National Association of Manufacturers at the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (Subcommittee on Labor). Aug 1, 1962.
08/01/1962 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act

…the passage of Federal legislation will add an unnecessary additional Federal bureaucracy and the inherent added enforcement expense will only increase the already large deficit in the Federal budget. State action and voluntary employer activity have done an excellent job in the area of equal pay to date, and we are optimistic that such activity will proceed at an even faster pace in the future.

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Statement of the National Association of Manufacturers at the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (Subcommittee on Labor). Aug 1, 1962.
08/01/1962 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act

We have had several young men start out as secretaries and later rise to positions of importance. …When these young men started, and as they progressed, I am certain that their wages were higher than some female secretaries doing equal or superior work. But we also knew that there was a possible potential of their rising to more important jobs, supervising a large number of men. If this law is passed, we will hire women for all secretarial positions and be deprived of this avenue of advancement.

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William Miller representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, House Hearing.
03/26/1963 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act