An interactive history of equal pay activism in the United States
Created by npartner on Mar 2, 2011
Last updated: 03/15/13 at 03:57 PM
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In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama called on members of Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. "...I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year."
In his 2013 State of the Union speech, the President called for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. "...I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year."
In his inauguration address, the President called for an end to the wage gap. "For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts."
The day marks how far into 2011 women have to work to catch up with to the amount that men earned in 2010. The fight for fair pay continues…
The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral argument in the landmark employment discrimination case filed by 1.6 million current and former female Wal-Mart employees. A rally in support of Betty Dukes and the women of Wal-Mart is scheduled for the same day – 10am in front of the Supreme Court building. The National Partnership for Women & Families submits a friend-of-the-court brief that makes the business case for fair pay and promotions for women.
In honor of Women’s History Month, President Barack Obama addresses the nation to highlight his “resolve to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.”
Women working full-time, year-round are earning 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and significant disparities persist across industries.
After promising in his State of the Union Address to crack down on equal pay violations, President Obama establishes a National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is the first piece of legislation signed by President Obama. It overturns the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D – CA), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D – CT), Senator Hillary Clinton (D – NY), along with other women’s leaders and members of Congress, rally in favor of passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the U.S. Supreme Court decides that victims of pay discrimination lose their right to bring a Title VII claim 180 days after the discrimination begins, even though it takes much longer for most victims to realize they are being paid unfairly.
Representative Rosa DeLauro (D – CT) and Senator Hillary Clinton (D – NY) introduce the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close some of the loopholes in the Equal Pay Act.
Women working full-time, year-round are earning 76 cents for every dollar paid to men.
The first Equal Pay Day is observed. Traditionally a Tuesday in April, the day marks how far into each new year women have to work to catch up with what men were paid the previous year.
Women working full-time, year-round are earning 66 cents for every dollar paid to men.
A pay equity bill for federal workers passes the U.S. House of Representatives (302-98).
Minnesota passes the first pay equity law for public workers. Since then, state laws have passed in 38 states.
The National Partnership for Women & Families (then known as the Women’s Legal Defense Fund) launches a public education campaign on wage discrimination, “It Pays to Be a Man.”
City workers in San Jose, California, are the first in the nation to successfully strike for pay equity. Their victory brings $1.5 million in wage increases for female-dominated jobs.
In County of Washington v. Gunther, the Supreme Court holds that employees can challenge wage discrimination under Title VII even if their jobs are not identical to the higher-paying jobs.
Twenty women's groups, professional organizations and unions form the National Committee on Pay Equity. Founders include unions, professional groups and women’s organizations, including the Women’s Legal Defense Fund (now the National Partnership for Women & Families).
Eight women, later known as the “Willmar 8,” begin their ultimately unsuccessful strike at Citizens’ National Bank in Willmar, Minnesota, for equal pay for equal work and treatment. More than 30 years later, people still remember the impact of the Willmar 8.
3,000 women march in Washington, D.C., on Women's Equality Day to support the Equal Rights Amendment.
In Corning Glass Works v. Brennan, the Supreme Court finds that employers cannot justify pay disparities simply by pointing to a market rate that is lower for women than for men.
The U.S. Department of Labor releases a Public Service Announcement to raise awareness about equal pay for equal work.
In Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that “help-wanted male” and “help-wanted female” ads in newspapers are illegal, paving the way for women to apply for higher-paying jobs previously open only to men.
Congress expands the Equal Pay Act to cover people employed in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity.
The Equal Rights Amendment is passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. The amendment reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The amendment is not ratified by the states.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rules that jobs need to be "substantially equal" but not "identical" to fall under the protection of the Equal Pay Act. An employer who gives a woman a new job title to pay her less than a man for doing the same work is engaging in discrimination under the act.
President Lyndon B. Johnson amends Executive Order 11246 — which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating based on race, religion or national origin — to include protection against discrimination based on sex. The order enhances equal employment opportunity
Title VII takes effect and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, responsible for enforcing that statute, opens its doors.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of that law, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, provides another vehicle for workers to challenge pay discrimination.
The President’s Commission on the Status of Women issues its final report on the status of American women, documenting substantial discrimination against women in the workplace. Upon receiving the report, President John F. Kennedy says that “it is time to eliminate the bars still raised to many because of such irrelevancies as color or sex.”
President John F. Kennedy signs the Equal Pay Act into law making it illegal to pay women less than men based on sex beginning June 11, 1964.
President John F. Kennedy establishes the President’s Commission on the Status of Women to research and report on issues concerning women. Eleanor Roosevelt is appointed chairwoman.
Women working full-time, year-round are earning 59 cents for every dollar earned by men
The first federal equal pay bill, the Women’s Equal Pay Act, which was modeled after the National War Labor Board rule, is introduced in Congress.
The War Labor Board rules that women must be compensated at the same rate as men, but the war ends before the rule can be enforced.
The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes a national minimum wage that applies equally to men and women.
The Equal Rights Amendment is introduced in Congress for the first time. Written by Alice Paul, suffragist leader and founder of the National Women’s Party, the amendment guarantees freedom from discrimination based on sex.
The Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor is created to collect information about women in the workplace and safeguard good working conditions for women.