Comparable worth is a theory that has been hailed as the issue of the 90's. Lee Finney, feminist and labour activist from Contra Costa County, asserted in 1986, “It may not be the issue of the eighties. But it's the issue of the nineties. Comparable worth is here to stay”[2, p.202]. Comparable worth has also been referred to as being overblown [3,p.121] and looney [2, p.52]. With so many diverse comments, an analysis of the current and future status of comparable worth is controversial.
A large earnings gap between men and women has persisted in the USA despite legislation intended to reduce it. One cause of this has been thought to be systematic…
A large earnings gap between men and women has persisted in the USA despite legislation intended to reduce it. One cause of this has been thought to be systematic marketplace undervaluing of tasks performed by women. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sought to address this perceived inequity by reviving a 1940s concept, “comparable worth”. This article examines litigation that sought to enforce the legal requirement of “equal pay for comparable worth” and the implementation problems and controversies that ensue.
As women's understanding of work‐place discrimination evolved, their attention shifted from the problem of equal pay for equal work to the issue of comparable pay. This…
As women's understanding of work‐place discrimination evolved, their attention shifted from the problem of equal pay for equal work to the issue of comparable pay. This shift was premised on the realisation that even though the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was correcting pay inequities in substantially equivalent jobs held by both men and women, most female‐dominated jobs had no equivalent male comparisons and thus, were outside the scope of the Equal Pay Act. Mahoney (1983) defines Comparable Worth as “comparable pay for jobs of comparable worth.” (p.14). At the core of this definition is the contention that differences in pay that are disproportionate to differences in the worth of jobs amount to wage discrimination.
Pay inequity based on gender arguably persists as the compensation issue with the most impact this half century. Oft‐cited evidence is that full‐time employed women are…
Pay inequity based on gender arguably persists as the compensation issue with the most impact this half century. Oft‐cited evidence is that full‐time employed women are paid less than two‐thirds the compensation of comparable male colleagues, a statistic which has not changed markedly for 50 years. Although pay differentials based on gender are not unique to the United States, a comparison with Canada and four European countries suggest that the US has a wider pay differential.
Comparable Worth Volume 108 Number 12 of Monthly Labor Review contains four articles on the above theme. The first, by Janet L. Nor‐wood, is entitled “Perspectives on comparable worth: an introduction to the data” and discusses reports presented to a national conference of statisticians. These reports point up the many facets of the comparable worth issue and suggest directions for conducting future research. In the second article, “Comparable worth: how do we know it will work”, Carolyn Shaw Bell argues that the debate over comparable worth obscures the lack of consensus on the definition and goals of such a policy, and of the data requi‐red for informed decision‐making. Thirdly, Karen Shall‐cross Koziara explores in “Comparable worth: or‐ganizational dilemmas” the political, economic, and social implications of comparable worth for public and private employers and trade unions. Finally, Sandra E. Gleason argues in “Comparable worth: some questions still un‐answered” that we know the issues surrounding and groups most likely to be affected by a national policy on compar‐able worth, but we cannot quantify possible costs and bene‐fits.
The feasibility of using job evaluation procedures to establish non‐biased pay structure is a central issue in the debate over comparable worth. Results of two…
The feasibility of using job evaluation procedures to establish non‐biased pay structure is a central issue in the debate over comparable worth. Results of two investigations indicate that even under carefully controlled conditions job evaluation results are highly susceptible to random and systematic errors on the part of the evaluators, and are apt to vary significantly from the concept of worth underlying the evaluation plan. The choice of evaluation instruments or scoring procedure can also have a major impact on results. Thus, the feasibility of using job evaluation results as the governing criterion of the relative worth of jobs is highly questionable.
The issue of comparable worth exemplifies the imperfection of market effects. The argument made by proponents of comparable worth is that women earn between 59% to 65% of men's earnings because they are systematically segregated into jobs which are traditionally held by women and traditionally underpaid. Champions of comparable worth argue that each job has an inherent value irrespective of the market, that the market thus is imperfect in its valuation of females in these positions, and that the law should create a hierarchy of job positions which are comparable worth and set wages accordingly. They refuse to accept that an employee's economic worth is determined by his or her salary. Due to this flawed approach, they fail to recognise the incomparable wages derive not from faulty wage‐value scales but from the supply and demand curves that are formed.
Despite significant anti-discrimination laws in most countries, gender pay gap still remains a substantial concern. The notion of comparable worth has been promoted for…
Despite significant anti-discrimination laws in most countries, gender pay gap still remains a substantial concern. The notion of comparable worth has been promoted for several years by the ILO and a few countries to fight against relatively lower female salaries. The purpose of this paper is to review the rationales for comparable worth and explain how gender biases, generally involved in traditional job evaluation, can be prevented.
To do this, after reviewing the motives, logics and three major applications of comparable worth logics in pay equity policies, the authors expose an analysis of a French sectorial job classification that the authors carried out as experts for establishing a French Equality Ombudsman’s guide.
The findings show how the redundancy and definition of job evaluation criteria, along with the weighting system, contributes to undervaluation of clerks jobs, predominantly held by women. The authors also highlight the main recommendations of the guide to prevent gender bias in job evaluation, that are derived from this case study, among others. The authors conclude on the difficulties of implementing comparable worth in France, in a period of long lasting economic crisis and of weak union power.
The paper is based on a single case study, conducted for policy actors. It was not conducted at first for academic research purposes, and may thus have some methodological limitations. The implications of the research are, however, important at academic level – highlighting the persistence of gender bias – and at policy level, as it provides recommendations for negotiators.
The guide originally aimed at giving guidelines and “good practices” in order to prevent gender discrimination in job evaluation.
The paper draws attention to the importance and difficulty of undergoing such classification changes in times of economic crisis. Stronger legal action seems necessary.
This experience is the first of its kind – promoted by the Ombudsman – in France. It has never been related in an academic journal as far as the authors know.
Pay and employment equity initiatives clearly have been importantpolicies in Canada and the United States. While the policies appear tohave had some positive effects for…
Pay and employment equity initiatives clearly have been important policies in Canada and the United States. While the policies appear to have had some positive effects for some members of the target groups for which they are to apply, large gaps still remain in the pay and employment opportunities for these groups. In part this reflects the limited application of these policies as well as their limited scope even if they were fully applied.