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

The principal of equal pay for equal work sounds…simple [but]….We cannot ignore the variables inherent in our private enterprise system, or give all discretion in resolving them to some single group or agency such as the Department of Labor, if we are to continue as free men and women.

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Fred C. Edwards, General Manager of Industrial Relation for Armstrong Cork Company, Testimony, House Hearing.
03/26/1963 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act

[The bill would ensure] ‘Another vast Federal bureaucracy’ with an annual budget beginning at more than $1 million and the addition of 240 employees to Uncle Sam’s payroll. The organization suggests the ladies pursue their crusade through the collective bargaining process, rather than through legislation.

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Chamber of Commerce quoted in the Wall Street Journal.
08/10/1962 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act

The retailing industry has long recognized the importance of its women employees. It is natural in this business employing such a preponderance of female employees, that their importance be recognized in many ways—not the least of which is their right to earn coequal salaries with men in the same positions. In fact, there are many jobs in retailing which are better adapted to women employees—and experience has shown are much better performed by them than men. Thus, a policy of paying the rate for the job, without regard to the sex of the worker, is generally reflected in women’s pay checks in the retailing industry.

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Statement of the American Retail Federation, at the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (Subcommittee on Labor).
08/01/1962 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act

[Joining unions, not] perpetuat[ing] a principal based upon the assumption that women are wards of the state [is the best way to reduce inequality]…[But gender inequality is] deeply rooted in our civilization [and what inequality cannot be dealt with through collective bargaining can only be dealt with through] evolutionary processes.

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William Cushing, legislative representative of the AFL.
04/24/1951 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act