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

I assume that a typical goal of the proposed bill would be to eliminate [pay differentials]….if the bill did this it would eliminate thousands and even hundreds of thousands of job opportunities for women.

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

…the Secretary of Labor becomes prosecutor, judge, and legislator. He is given extensive authority to intervene and interfere in employer-employee relations. He must build a considerable Federal division of his Department to accomplish this purpose at increased cost to the taxpayers….Further, the Secretary is not required to await the complaint of an aggrieved employee. He is empowered to prevent any person from engaging in the prohibited wage discrimination. He may proceed on his own motion. There is not limit to the interference with efficient operations or the amount of snooping which may result in an effort to uncover evidence concerning existing or possible future wage discrimination.

-
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 proposed ‘comparable’ work standard is] 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.

-
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) expresses their opposition to some of the initial Equal Pay Act’s wording.
06/14/1962 | 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.

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