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Legal Environment of Business

Lesly Saravia
December 2, 2015

Equal Pay Act


By: Lesly Saravia

"A man is still likely to earn more money than a woman, even one doing the same job. You have
a far better chance of entering political office or becoming a company director Women are
responsible for two thirds of the work done worldwide, yet earn only 10% of the total income
and own 1% of the property So, are we equals? Until the answer is yes, we must never stop
asking. This quote was said by Daniel Craig, a man who believes that women are not being paid
fairly at their job. Employees have the right to be free from discrimination at their jobs and they
are protected by many federal laws including some of the following enforced by the U.S Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination In Employment Act of 1967, and Title I of
the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. The one that I will be talking about is the Equal Pay
Act of 1963.
What is the Equal Pay Act?
On June 10, 1963, John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law. The Equal Pay Act (EPA)
was said to be one of the first federal anti-discrimination laws that focused on wages based on
genders. This act made it illegal to pay anyone different salaries for similar work.
History of the Equal Pay Act
It all began during World War II. The women started
working and they earned less than men for doing
similar work. Because of this, men feared that they

would be replaced by women who did similar tasks for cheaper pay or that the employers would
lower the mens wages. Once the men began to join the military, the women took over their job.
Then the union started to promote equal pay. Throughout the 1940s, many bills seeking equal
pay for women were introduced to the congress but they all failed to move forward. But in 1961,
Esther Peterson was appointed to head the Womens Bureau in the Department of Labor which
was responsible for administering gender-issue labor laws. On February 1963, Esther Peterson
submitted a draft bill of an Equal Pay Act to Congress on behalf of the Kennedy administration.
Although there were some changes, the Equal Pay Act passed the House and Senate and was
signed in to law on June 10, 1963.
What are the major provisions/details of the act/law?
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 forbids sex-based wage discrimination
between women and men in the same establishment who performs
jobs that require basically equal skill, effort and responsibility under
the similar working conditions. The Equal Pay Act focuses on the
skill, effort, responsibility, working conditions, and establishment.
The skill is measured by factors such as ability, education, training,
and experience required to perform a job. The effort is the amount of mental or physical exertion
needed to perform the job. The responsibility is the degree of accountability required in
performing the job. The working conditions are encompassed by two factors: physical
surroundings (temperatures, fumes, and ventilation) and hazards. In an establishment, the
prohibition opposed to compensation discrimination is applied. These all contribute to defining
the Equal Pay Act.
Who does it impact both directly and indirectly?

The Equal Pay Act impacts the women directly


because they are the ones fighting for equal pay. The
act impacts the men indirectly as well because the
women are seeking the same amount of pay as the
men.
What types of power, authority, and punishments can it exercise?
The type of power/authority that this act exercises is unclear.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act


Lilly Ledbetter fought for 10 years to close the gap
between the wages of men and women. She argued with
the Supreme Court in a historic discrimination case
against the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.
Although Ledbetter won the verdict jury of more than $3 million after having filed a gender pay
discrimination suit, the U.S Supreme Court later overturned the courts ruling. Ledbetter
continued to fight even after her defeat until the Supreme Court decision was nullified when
President Obama signed into law the first new law of his administration: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair
Pay Act.

Citations
www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/epa.cfm
www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/equalcompensation.cfm
www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-epa.cfm
www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/history/35th/thelaw/epa.html
http://www.lillyledbetter.com/