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

[T]he inevitable effect of this legislation will be to create an artificial barrier on job opportunities for women. There will be a strong compulsion on employers to divide their jobs into women’s jobs and men’s jobs and to never hire a person of the opposite sex in those jobs just so they will not have the Department of Labor looking over their shoulders.

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William Miller representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, House Hearing.
04/02/1963 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act

There are four major developments which make this proposed law of dubious value. Advancement of the worthwhile and sound objective of equal pay for equal work has already been well accomplished through: 1) General acceptance by employers; 2) A continuing aftermath of World War II developments; 3) Collective bargaining agreements; and 4) The tremendous increase in the establishment of job evaluation systems under which pay differentials based on sex are automatically abolished. It is through these channels that progress has been made and will continue to be made in eliminating multiple standards in the payment of wages.

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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 fact that men have been employed in industry over a longer period than have women in general, and also the fact that the average length of time devoted to industry by a man is greater than that of women, makes it natural that the jobs which require more experience and certain higher skills are more frequently assigned to men than to women.

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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

[While the] bill may have motives in the finest traditions of gallantry, it actually is about as ungallant as a kick in the shins. [These costs arise] from the indisputable fact that women are more prone to housemaking and motherhood than men.

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[Representative Paul] Findley [R-IL), The Chicago Tribune.
05/05/1963 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act