Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Michael M. Harris
The commonly accepted definition of comparable worth is that dissimilar jobs that are of equal worth to the organization (e.g., nurses and truck drivers) should be paid the same wage. The term comparable worth must be distinguished from related terms, such as equal pay for equal work . The latter term is associated with the U.S. law known as the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which requires that men and women doing essentially the same job should be paid the same unless the differences are attributable to factors such as merit, seniority, or other job-related criteria. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, then, requires that the plaintiff perform the same job as the comparison group. Comparable worth is sometimes referred to as pay equity . The underlying premise of comparable worth is that persistent discrimination against predominantly female jobs results in women earning consistently lower wages than men. Only by ...