What is the Equal Pay Act?

Under the Equal Pay Act or 1963, any employee, whether male or female, must be given substantially equal work that requires equal skill, effort and responsibility and are carried out under similar working conditions, and the compensation must be substantially equal as well. The law was formulated and brought into effect as a result of years of outcries and proposals from different labor and women’s rights groups seeking for fair treatment and compensation in the workplace. The Equal Pay Act is just but one of the many progresses of women’s advocacy towards gender equality in the society. Although the Equal Pay Act is still subject to the scope and exceptions of covered employees and employers contained within the act, it is considered as the first step towards and adjustment of balance in pay for women. Many cases involving the Equal Pay Act revolve on how people get work that requires more effort and more responsibility but is paid the same as the work that requires less. There are also issues regarding pay inequality between men and women. There are certain factors that affect inequality of employment, particularly in third-world countries where domestic politics, culture and religious differences play a big role in pay disparity between both sexes.

But since the Equal Pay Act has been enacted, the workplace had changed to become less discriminate against women and they have become a primordial force of manpower in big companies today. Women are given the opportunity to get the same working conditions as with men, and they have a bigger participation in labor relations. What hasn’t changed much since the law was enacted is the wage gap. Although the disparity between the wages of men and women has narrowed since 1963, women still earn only 81% of what men earn in 2005.

The progress is slow; nevertheless the momentum of change is still ongoing. Figures and statistics show that in the coming decades, there is a clear possibility of a reversal on gender wage gap, where women will outearn men eventually. The transition is quite slow at this time, but very dramatic. In the end, women will eventually reach the goal of this act, where cases of wage and living standards depression will be irrelevant, as sex-based pay discrimination may become an obsolete picture of employment culture.

Our Los Angeles Accident Attorneys specialize in all fields of personal injury, business law, social security, and employment cases

John Luke Matthews is a regular contributor of relevant articles about the jurisprudence of employment. He is part of the Mesriani Law Group and is currently taking information technology studies as well.


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