Employers may not pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions within the same establishment. Each of these factors is summarized: Skill which is measured by factors such as the experience, ability, education and training required to perform the job. Effort, the amount of physical or mental exertion needed to perform the job. Responsibility, the degree of accountability required in performing the job. Working Conditions, this encompasses two factors: (1) physical surroundings, such as temperature, fumes and ventilation; and (2) hazards. Establishment, the prohibition against compensation discrimination under the EPA applies only to jobs within an establishment.
Equal Pay Act
In 1963, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, making it unlawful to discriminate against a worker on the basis of sex. Since that time, the wage gap between men and women in the United States has narrowed by just 15 cents, now being 74 cents, as reported by the U. S. Census Bureau (The Equal Pay Act, New York). Pay equality is most prevalent for the 16 to 24 age group, in which women earn more than 90 percent of what men do; however, the gap becomes 75 percent in the 25 to 54 year old group – those at the height of their careers and life responsibilities. A number of factors have contributed to the gap between men’s and women’s wages. These include: occupational segregation of women into low paying jobs; lower levels of unionization for women and attitudinal barriers that have kept women from achieving equality in the workplace and undervaluation for women’s work (The Equal Pay Act. New York). The Equal Pay Act (part of the Fair Labor Standards Act), forbids employers to compensate women differently for jobs that are “substantially equal”, that is, almost identical. Traditionally, women have worked in different...
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