Gender Pay Gap

March 14, 2008 • Volume 18, Issue 11
Are women paid fairly in the workplace?
By Thomas J. Billitteri

Introduction

Former Goodyear manager Lilly Ledbetter won more than $3 million in a pay-discrimination suit against the tire firm, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the verdict in 2007 for filing her complaint too late.  (AFP/Getty Images/Fannie Carrier)
Former Goodyear manager Lilly Ledbetter won more than $3 million in a pay-discrimination suit against the tire firm, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the verdict in 2007 for filing her complaint too late. (AFP/Getty Images/Fannie Carrier)

More than four decades after Congress passed landmark anti-discrimination legislation — including the Equal Pay Act of 1963 — a debate continues to rage over whether women are paid fairly in the workplace. Contending that gender bias contributes to a significant "pay gap," reformists support proposed federal legislation aimed at bringing women's wages more closely in line with those of men. Others say new laws are not needed because the wage gap largely can be explained by such factors as women's choices of occupation and the amount of time they spend in the labor force. Meanwhile, a class-action suit charging Wal-Mart Stores with gender bias in pay and promotions — the biggest sex-discrimination lawsuit in U.S. history — may be heading for the Supreme Court. Some women's advocates argue that a controversial high-court ruling last year makes it more difficult to sue over wage discrimination.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Cost of Living and Wages
Sep. 08, 2017  Universal Basic Income
Apr. 08, 2016  Future of the Middle Class
Apr. 18, 2014  Wealth and Inequality
Jan. 24, 2014  Minimum Wage
Jun. 19, 2009  Rethinking Retirement
Mar. 06, 2009  Middle-Class Squeeze
Mar. 14, 2008  Gender Pay Gap
Dec. 16, 2005  Minimum Wage
Sep. 27, 2002  Living-Wage Movement
Apr. 17, 1998  Income Inequality
Oct. 27, 1978  Wage-Price Controls
Jun. 16, 1978  Military Pay and Benefits
Mar. 23, 1966  Rising Cost of Living
Oct. 25, 1961  Price-Wage Restraints in National Emergencies
Jun. 21, 1961  Wage Policy in Recovery
Jun. 11, 1958  Prices and Wages in the Recession
Sep. 18, 1957  Control of Living Costs
Nov. 02, 1955  Wages, Prices, Profits
Jan. 26, 1954  Minimum Wage Raise
Jan. 02, 1954  Cost of Living
Jan. 21, 1953  Guaranteed Annual Wage
Dec. 17, 1952  Future of Price and Wage Controls
Nov. 19, 1951  Fringe Benefits and Wage Stabilization
Dec. 06, 1950  Wage Control
Jun. 13, 1949  Wages in Deflation
Jun. 04, 1947  Guarantees of Wages and Employment
Oct. 29, 1946  Decontrol of Wages
Dec. 01, 1945  Minimum Wages
Sep. 29, 1945  Wage Policy
Oct. 27, 1944  Wage Security
May 17, 1943  Incentive Wage Payments
Aug. 25, 1941  Prices, Profits, and Wage Control
Apr. 28, 1941  Wartime Changes in the Cost of Living
Sep. 21, 1940  Two Years of the Wage-Hour Law
Nov. 01, 1938  Industry and Labor Under the Wage-Hour Act
Jan. 20, 1938  Wage Rates and Workers' Incomes
Apr. 11, 1935  The Cost of Living in the United States
Sep. 01, 1930  Wages and the Cost of Living
May 24, 1930  The Anthracite Wage Agreement
Feb. 20, 1925  Measure of Recovery in Profits and Wages Since 1920–21 Depression
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Equal Employment Opportunity & Discrimination
Wages
Women in the Workplace