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The Equal Pay Act, Research Paper Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1294

Research Paper

Abstract

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is the point of discussion in this paper and focus will be given to how the Act came to being. Furthermore, legislations governing the Act will be viewed to see whether changes can be made to further refine the Act and make it suit the current work environments. The contributions of this Act are also displayed in-depth to give a clear picture of what the Act has managed to do fifty years later. It is also essential to look at the pros and cons of the Act. Therefore, give relevant suggestions on how to improve the Act that supports the workforce in reducing acts of discrimination of wages. The last aspect that is going to be investigated on is the recommendations to be made on the success and legislations.

 

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) is ascribed to the working conditions and is an amendment to FLSA (Fair Labour Standards Act). In 1964, It was among the first statutes of the EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) handed by the Supreme Court in USA. The Act prohibits unequal payment of wages by employers on gender basis. An establishment employing both men and women to do substantially equal work and thus, the Act recommends that they should be paid the same wages. The reason is because they have equal responsibility, skills and efforts, and their performance is under similar work conditions (Kovac, 2004). However, permitted wage differentials are based on seniority system, the systems that measure earnings by production quality and quantity, and a merit system. As a result, labour unions are prohibited from discriminating an employee’s wages on the basis of sex. Under the law, there are other laws protecting employees from compensation discrimination and include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

This Act came in after individuals received their bachelor’s degree two years earlier experienced the effect of difference in wage payments and yet, their working conditions, efforts, skills were all the same. For example, the salary for male and female accountants was $1,200, and a pharmacist was $1,560, which was calculated under the median annual salaries. These statistics was overwhelming and led the Task Force of the President to look into matters affecting Women’s Rights and Responsibilities. The conclusion made by the Task Force was that sex bias took a toll on economic growth than racial bias. Various bills were passed to the Congress with regard to this issue, but measures undertaken did not bear any fruits, and seventeen years later, no favorable action was received. Bipartisan proponents tried all they can, but there efforts went to waste even with substantial support from both the public and Government. However, in 1961, an Administration proposal was generated by the Presidential Commission and President John Kennedy endorsed the policy in 1961. Amendments on bills served as a turning point and the Statute was passed, which was a turnaround for women and men working in an establishment (Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions, 1963).

Passage of EPA was opposed by Congress many times because they were not ready to recognize the efforts of women in the society. Furthermore, they wanted to be superior and take charge of situations in their work environment and this led to further delay in the enactment of these laws. In addition, men see themselves as superior and want to remain that way even when they have equal working conditions. This should not be encouraged because women have also passed through the same learning institutions as the men and deserve to be treated equal. Moreover, in an education setting, both men and women are given the same service and thus, employers should give them the same treatment and not rely on gender, to pay them for their efforts.

The pros of this Act include the devaluing of jobs traditionally performed by women. Many claims made are both insufficient and vague because no unseen economic forces have been able to decree the rates for women to be lower. Organizations going against the Act argue that the systems are the ones that devalue women, but this is not the case since job ranking and classifications of pay dynamics are biased against jobs dominated by women. The cons include challenges in definition, implementation and enforcing and have managed to dilute the impacts of market on the wages. The flexibility and agility in today’s global economy, which is fast-moving, has been able to respond to changes in the market forces in a rapid way. The argument is that, the market, in valuing work is not gendered neutral and should not be related to the supply and demand of conditions prevalent in the labour market.

The Passage of the Equal Pay Act has contributed to the growth of the economy and in turn, has transformed the lives of women for the past 50 generations. It is evident from articles and researches that women have been able to integrate jobs fields; that were exclusively made for males and have achieved success. In terms of education, women have achieved higher levels than before and have seen them penetrate to the highest government levels, in Congress, in the judiciary, and even the private sector (National Equal Pay Task Force, 2013). This has enabled women become a vital source of innovation, job creation and successful entrepreneurs. Some of the major shifts contributed by the Act include the transformation of the workplace, family, and community levels, which has given voice to the women.

My personal evaluation of the law is that it has brought about change in the workplace that has contributed positively to both women and Governments. The women in question have been given the opportunity to take up responsibility, which is ascribed to their male counterparts. As a result, they have managed to work diligently in fulfilling their work responsibility. A growth in women groups has seen the rise of empowering women in communities and thus, the community, family and the entire country have benefitted from this Act. Many of the women in the globe are now empowered and are familiar with their right, which has given them the chance and opportunity to voice their cries to their employers without fear of being discriminated upon. It is necessary, however, for the Act to consider enacting laws that give governance to female employers who abuse their powers by discriminating on the male workers and giving the women more powers. This form of competition is bad for a company because it brings about the rivalry in the job market and has resulted in creating enemies. In addition, males have picked up the habit and are discriminating on the women.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is the legal issue that warrants attention because it is a goal towards achieving pay equity for both male and female. This Act will be able to close the longstanding loopholes through strengthening of incentives that will be able to prevent discrimination of pay. In the end, the bills help in creating a climate that does not tolerate wage discrimination and thus, fair employees are able to enjoy a healthy-working environment. In addition, the administration will have the necessary tools for enforcing real change in ending discrimination of wages in the work place (National Equal Pay Task Force, 2013). The rising employment rates have given rise to an increased number of women employed and thus, it is vital for the Government to look into refining legislations governing wage discrimination.

References

Kovac, J.C. (2004). Backtobasics: Equal Pay Act of 1963. Retrieved from http://www.worldatwork.org/workspanarts/html/N47N10-btb.pdf

National Equal Pay Task Force. (2013). Fifty years after the Equal Pay Act: Assessing the Past, Taking Stock of the Future. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/image_file/equal_pay-task_force_progress_report_june_10_2013.pdf.

Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Divisions. (1963). Information on the Equal Act of 1963.

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