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Mon Jun 10, 2019, 05:23 AM

56 Years Ago Today; JFK Signs The Equal Pay Act of 1963


The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a United States labor law amending the Fair Labor Standards Act, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex (see Gender pay gap). It was signed into law on June 10, 1963, by John F. Kennedy as part of his New Frontier Program. In passing the bill, Congress stated that sex discrimination:

-depresses wages and living standards for employees necessary for their health and efficiency;

-prevents the maximum utilization of the available labor resources;

-tends to cause labor disputes, thereby burdening, affecting, and obstructing commerce;

-burdens commerce and the free flow of goods in commerce; and constitutes an unfair method of competition.

The law provides (in part) that:

No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section [section 206 of title 29 of the United States Code] 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 [...]



1973 Public service announcement featuring Batgirl, and the other guys.

American womenís salaries have risen relative to men's since the EPAís enactment, from 62.3% of menís earnings in 1979 to 80.4% in 2004. The EPAís equal pay for equal work goals have not been completely achieved, as demonstrated by the BLS data and Congressional findings within the text of the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act.

The EPA did not originally cover executives, administrators, outside salespeople, and professionals, but the Education Amendments of 1972 amended the EPA so that it does.

As a senator, Hillary Clinton first introduced the "Paycheck Fairness Act" on April 20, 2005, which, among other provisions, proposes to amend the EPAís fourth affirmative defense to permit only bona fide factors other than sex that are job-related or serve a legitimate business interest. Representative Rosa DeLauro first introduced an identical bill in the House of Representatives on the same day. On January 29, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which overturned the holding of a Supreme Court case, Ledbetter v. Goodyear, regarding the applicable statute of limitations. This bill, providing that each gender-unequal paycheck is a new violation of the law, was the first signing of the Obama Presidency and came almost forty-five years after the Equal Pay Act.

Initially, a 2007 study commissioned by the Department of Labor cautioned against overzealous application of the EPA without closer examination of possible reasons for pay discrepancies. This study noted, for example, that men as a group earn higher wages in part because men dominate blue collar jobs, which are more likely to require cash payments for overtime work; in contrast, women comprise over half of the salaried white collar management workforce that is often exempted from overtime laws. In summary, the study stated: "Although additional research in this area is clearly needed, this study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers." But due to the fact that woman have to go on maternity leave and are mostly in charge of childcare, the wage gap still exist.

However, later, in 2014, the Department of Labor observed, "some causes for the wage gap remain unexplained by existing research. For example, gender discrimination may be responsible for some portion of the unexplained wage gap. .... And there is more to the story: women of color continue to face significant racial wage gaps on top of the gender wage gap. [*The gender wage gap is bigger for black and Hispanic women compared to white, non-Hispanic men.] To ensure the health of our economy and the economic security of our nation's families, we must do more to eliminate the gender wage gap."


But we still do not have an ERA...

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Reply 56 Years Ago Today; JFK Signs The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Jun 2019 OP
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2019 #1

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Tue Jun 11, 2019, 04:40 AM

1. I voted for the ERA

It was one of my very first votes.

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