Everything you need to know about the Equal Pay Act

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Rosa Cho, Abagail Kramer

Forty years after the introduction of the Equal Pay Act, women are still robbed of 23 cents for every dollar a man makes in the United States. Even with the passage of five groundbreaking laws to prevent discrimination in the workplace – e.g., the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act – the gender pay gap is still an intractable problem. This primer explores the historical, legal and legislative background of gender and pay discrimination issues in the United States using a gender lens. It looks at how the pay gap relates to larger ideas about ourselves as workers and the forces at play in work-life issues. Finally, it presents sociological arguments for why the pay gap exists and persists, as well as best practices from peer nations that are worthy of consideration in a U.S. context.