Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

US Pay Equity Legislation: Sheep in Wolves' Clothing

In the last century, women in the United States have made tremendous changes to their labor market behavior. What has not changed very much over this time period is the relative economic status of women compared to men. Another constant has been a high level of job segregation by gender, such that few organizations emply both men and women to do a particular job. These facts have led many scholars to conclude that employers systematically undervalue female-dominated jobs, and that legislative initiatives are needed to rectify this problem. This paper reviews 4 bills that have been introduced in the U.S. Congress. Each of these bills contains loopholes that would allow most employers to maintain their current pay rates. The Congressional initiatives are contrasted with a much more stringent bill that has been introduced in the New York state legislature.