Issue of Equal Pay

1600 Words6 Pages
Introduction Government has tackled the issue of pay equity for several decades, through a string of Acts. The issue arose as part of the discussion of civil rights in the 1960s but the conversation continues today. The concept of equal pay for equal work has philosophical roots in the doctrine of equality, where all Americans are considered to be equal under the law and entitled to equal rights. The issue of equal pay became a public policy topic as a means of enforcing this equality doctrine. This paper will discuss not only the doctrine, but the history of equal pay legislation from the Civil Rights Act to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Background The social upheaval of the 1960s included a wide range of civil rights movements, including the feminist movement. The background context of these movements was the social debate in that decade about the 14th Amendment and the protections that it affords Americans to equality. The battle for equality extends further back, for example the battles over slavery and women's suffrage, but the modern context can be said to begin with the broad-based societal debate of the issue in the early 1960s (National Archives, 2013). The sweeping nature of this debate in American society led to the relatively sweeping nature of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act was the first to put into law rules governing the human resources function, but it focused primarily on discrimination in the workplace. The underlying philosophy of
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