Equal Pay Act

Abolishing wage disparity based on sex

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
  • constitutes an unfair method of competition

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women’s salaries vs men’s have risen dramatically since the EPA’s enactment, from 62% of men’s earnings in 1979 to 80% in 2004

To establish a case under the EPA, an employee must show that:

  1. different wages are paid to employees of the opposite sex
  2. the employees perform substantially equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility
  3. the jobs are performed under similar working conditions
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Signed into law by President John F. Kennedy on June 10, 1963

Was one of the first federal anti-discrimination laws that addressed wage differences based on gender