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

Any figures advanced to sustain a case that extensive rate discrimination exists, are likely to be misleading because they cannot represent the full extent to which the principle of equal pay for equal work exists throughout industry. While contract provisions might show the degree to which equal pay is embodied in collective bargaining agreements, they fail to indicate the far greater number of cases where employers of their own volition paid the same rates to men and women where jobs were equal, or where an identical wage scale is applicable to men and women although no specific ‘equal wage’ provision is contained in the agreement.

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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

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

[We stand] with those who would eliminate injustice and inequality wherever it may exist….[But] We do not wish to see Federal legislation enacted which could create greater problems and bring about greater injustices.

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

The broadly and vaguely worded administrative and enforcement provisions of [the bill] would authorize extensive governmental intervention in labor-management relations far exceeding the purported evils at which this legislation is allegedly directed. Such provisions, moreover, effectively give the Secretary and his agents an unlimited license to destroy the wage structures which both management and labor have worked for years to develop….The exercise of such unlimited powers could not but grievously and irreparably injure labor management relations throughout the Nation.

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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