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

To have any meaning at all, a comparison of wage rates must be based on the wages of employees doing at least the same kind of work. For example, if one includes the wages of both skilled and unskilled employees in determining the average rates for women and men, the sex having the greater number of skilled workers will obviously have the higher average wage rate. There are, of course, a greater number of skilled male employees than skilled female employees. Consequently, when average wage rates are compared without being limited to the type of work being performed, the comparison is not merely meaningless; it is totally misleading. The resultant differential between the average wage rates of women and men simply cannot properly be used to support an argument that Federal equal pay legislation is necessary.

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W. Boyd Owen, Vice-president of personnel administration for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, Testimony, Senate Hearing.
04/03/1963 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act

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 proposal would] involve undue interference in the work relationship…interfere with efficient management, and prove disruptive to good relations between employer and employees.

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National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) representative Leo Teplow, Testimony, House Committee on Education and Labor.
05/18/1950 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act

[The bill] is enough to give the boss of a lot of women workers the shudders. So much so that he may stop hiring women altogether. If that happens, pretty soon women would be right back in the place some men think they never should have left.

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From the Wall Street Journal editorial “Ladies Day in the Senate".
08/15/1962 | Full Details | Law(s): Equal Pay Act