For many decades in the United States, women have struggled with equality issues. Men have often been treated as superior, leaving women to feel inferior and less important. This has occurred even in the workplace. The right for women to be able to vote was an example of a battle that was fought long and hard against the powers that be. As women evolved and their influence within the workplace grew, the need for women to take on the roles as an employee and not just a housewife also increased. With this influx of female workers also came the need for fair wages. Women often worked just as many hours as their male counterparts, but were not given equal pay for the level of work they were performing. This was commonly known as the gender pay gap. This form of discrimination became a common problem until the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was implemented.
Equal pay for women was an issue that many felt was important. The Equal Pay Act was officially signed into law by President John F Kennedy on June 10th, 1963. The law states that there shall be no discrimination or bias between genders at any establishment where someone is employed, and that wages shall be equal or competitive as long as all employees perform the same or very similar skill sets of work within that establishment. In other words, equal pay for women who do the same level of work as men do. If a man is a police officer and must pass boot camp, and accept the risks that come with the job, and a woman within that same police department must do the same, both shall be paid the same wages upon beginning their position. In decades past, women who did a similar job may have been subject to lower wages, which is in essence, a form of gender based discrimination.
Women approached the government with a proposal that all workers, regardless of sex, should receive "equal pay for equal work." There are many factors that are taken into account when an employer must pay both genders equal pay. These factors include skill, effort, working conditions, and the particular establishment for which all parties work. This does not mean, however, that companies are restricted in giving some employees raises based on a job well done or time worked for the company, but they cannot do so based on gender alone. This law helps to level the playing field and gives women and men an equal opportunity to achieve their career goals without the worry of being treated unfairly.
For more information on the gender pay gap issue and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, please refer to the following websites: