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My name is Carrie and I am currently writing a research paper along with a proposal on pay equity. It is for a political science course and I am needing as much information as I can find on legislation, preferably landmark legislation. I am wanting to trace the issue through legislation on a national as well as state level. I would appreciate any suggestions where I could find such info. I have already tried my states' LRC home page and I did not find much. Thank you.

The fight for pay equity--or comparable worth--began in this country in the late 1800s in the unions. During WWII there was an acknowledgment of "comparable quality and quantity of work." However, this "fight" wasn't formalized until the 1963 Equal Pay Act, which was won mostly as a result of the hard work of the Women's Bureau. However, because this legislation was about equal work rather than comparable worth--it applies only to men and women in exactly the same job, and doesn't change the pay structure for certain professions of comparable skills or doesn't allow for employers making up titles for the same skilled jobs--so people could get away with paying men more if they were an "associate" and women less as "managers." It all comes back to semantics.

Today, feminists are still struggling for better, more inclusive legislation--that which truly is comparable worth--equal pay for work of equal value. I hope that helps.


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