Women that work full-time and have a high school diploma lose as much as $700,000 over a life time of work. Women with college degrees lose $1.2 million and professional school graduates lose up to $2 million.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) states that after graduating college, women average only 80% of their male counterparts wages and during the next ten years, women’s wages will drop to only 69% of men’s existing earnings ten years after college.
It affects woman’s spending power Jeopardizes retirement security Creates gaps in social security and pensions Older women are also more likely to live in poverty then older men.
What people do not understand is when women get equal pay, their family income increases and the whole family benefits.
In 1942, the National War Labor Board urged employers to voluntarily make wages or salary rates equal for women. Since the request was denied by most businesses, the Equal Pay Act was born. Passed on June 10, 1963 but not effective until June 11, 1964 the Equal Pay Act was passed.
This act made it illegal to pay women lower rates on a job based on their sex. It also prohibits employers with four or more employers to pay unequal wages to men and women doing the same work. Employers who violate the Equal Pay Act will have to make up the wage difference to employers, pay legal cost, and also be subject to civil fines up to $2,500 per violation.
After the Equal Pay Act, two landmark court cases were passed which strengthened and furthered the Equal Pay Act, Schultz v. Wheaton Glass Co. and Corning Glass Works v. Brennan.
In 1970, the Schultz v. Wheaton Glass Co. court case was held at the U.S. Court Appeals for the Third Circuit. It ruled that jobs need to be “substantially equal” but not “identical” to fall under the protection of the Equal Pay Act. An employer cannot, for example, change the job titles of women workers in order to pay them less than men.
In 1974, Corning Glass Works v. Brennan was held at the U.S. Supreme Court. This ruled that employers cannot justify paying women lower wages because that is what they traditionally received under the “going market rate.” A wage differential occurring “simply because men would not work at the low rates paid to women” was unacceptable.
The National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) started an Equal Pay Day in 1996 which is held on a Tuesday in April.
The purpose of Equal Pay Day is to inform the public about the gap between men and women wages.
Tuesday was chosen to show how far into a work week women must work to earn what men earn the previous week.