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Critical evaluation of the ways in which the Equal Pay Act 1970 seeks to achieve equal pay between men and women

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  1. Introduction
  2. Equal Pay Act of 1970
    1. The main element of the Equal Pay Act 1970
    2. The Equal Pay Act 1970 in brief
  3. Implication of Equal Pay Act : An example
    1. Corning glass works vs Brennan 417 US 188 (1974)
  4. Evaluation of the Equal Pay Act 1970
  5. Conclusion
  6. Appendix
  7. Sources

Because of the large number of women taking jobs in the war industries during World War II, the governments urged employers in 1942 to voluntarily make ?adjustments which equalize wage or salary rates paid to females with the rates paid to males for comparable quality and quantity of work on the same or similar operations.? Not only did employers fail to listen to this ?voluntary? request, but also, at the end of the war, most women lost their new jobs to make room for returning veterans. Until the early 1960s, newspapers published separate job listings for men and women. Jobs were categorized according to sex, with the higher level jobs listed almost exclusively under ?Help Wanted?Male.? In some cases the ads ran identical jobs under male and female listings?but with separate pay scales. Separate, of course, meant unequal: between 1950 and 1960, women with full-time jobs earned on average between 59?64 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earned in the same job.

[...] In order to establish a violation of the Act, it must be shown that an employer pays different wages to employees of opposite sexes "for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions," [417 U.S 189] except where the difference in payment is made pursuant to a seniority or merit system or one measuring earnings by quantity or quality of production, or where the differential is "based on any other factor other than sex." 3-Evaluation of the Equal Pay Act 1970 A variety of explanations for the persistent wage gap have been offered. [...]

[...] But even the narrow wage gap of that applies to women under 25 looks less rosy when you consider economist Katha Pollitt's take on it: ?Young men and women have always had earnings more compatible than those of their elders: starting salaries are generally low, and do not accurately reflect the advantages that accrue, or fail to accrue, over time as men advance and women stay in place, or as women in mostly female kinds of jobs reach the end of characteristically short career paths.? (The Nation, April 14, 1997) Thirty years after the passing of the Equal Pay Act in 1970, a new survey suggests that women could have to wait another 30 years before they can expect to be paid the same as their male colleagues. [...]

[...] For example, if we take the new industries such as the computer market, the gap is narrower. When a survey suggests that women will have to wait another 30 years to reach the equality, it's maybe because it's also the time that we need to push away the older way of thinking! Indeed, most of the people from the older generation will be retired at this time. Finally, we can conclude that the Equal Pay Act had a great ambition: reach the equality between men and women. But this goal can't be achieved in so less [...]

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