comparable worth


comparable worth
the doctrine that a woman's and man's pay should be equal when their work requires equal training, skills, and responsibilities.

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also called  sex equity  or  pay equity 

      in economics (labour economics), the principle that men and women should be compensated equally for work requiring comparable skills, responsibilities, and effort.

      In the United States the concept of comparable worth was introduced in the 1970s by reformers seeking to correct inequities in pay for occupations traditionally held by men and women. Following Congressional passage of the Equal Pay Act (1963), which required that men and women receive “equal pay for equal work,” wages for occupations dominated by women continued to lag behind those for predominantly male occupations. Skeptics say that the concept of comparable worth interferes with the operation of a free market and that the worth of an occupation is not absolute and cannot be compared.

      Lawsuits have brought the issue of comparable worth to political prominence. In American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees v. State of Washington (1981), the state of Washington was ordered to provide raises and compensatory back pay to female state employees, who were found to be earning 20 percent less than their male coworkers. Although the decision was overturned on appeal, the state of Washington agreed to make women's wages equal to those paid to men. Pay equity laws have been enacted in Europe, Canada, Australia, and in a number of states and municipalities in the United States.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • comparable worth — com·pa·ra·ble worth / käm pə rə bəl wərth, käm prə / n: the concept that women and men should receive equal pay for jobs calling for comparable skill and responsibility Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. comparable worth …   Law dictionary

  • comparable worth — ˌcomparable ˈworth noun [uncountable] HUMAN RESOURCES the principle that women doing the same type of job as men should be paid the same amount as men * * * comparable worth UK US noun [U] ► HR, SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY the idea that a person should …   Financial and business terms

  • comparable worth — noun : the concept that women and men should receive equal pay for jobs calling for comparable skill and responsibility * * * the doctrine that a woman s and man s pay should be equal when their work requires equal training, skills, and… …   Useful english dictionary

  • comparable worth — noun The principle that there should be no difference in remuneration between jobs held mostly by women and jobs held mostly by men, when the womens work is comparable in skill, effort, working conditions, and responsibility to the mens work.… …   Wiktionary

  • comparable worth — Term used to describe a class of wage discrimination claims based on the employer s use of different criteria in establishing the wage rates for male and female dominated jobs. Several states have enacted laws establishing comparable worth… …   Black's law dictionary

  • comparable worth — Term used to describe a class of wage discrimination claims based on the employer s use of different criteria in establishing the wage rates for male and female dominated jobs. Several states have enacted laws establishing comparable worth… …   Black's law dictionary

  • comparable worth — com′parable worth′ n. cvb bus soc the concept that a woman s and man s pay should be equal for comparable jobs • Etymology: 1980–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • comparable worth — noun Date: 1983 the concept that women and men should receive equal pay for jobs calling for comparable skill and responsibility …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • comparable worth — The view that jobs should be paid equally when the work requires equal training, skills, and responsibilities, and that this principle should override differences in job titles, status, or accepted market rates. The doctrine is mainly associated… …   Big dictionary of business and management

  • comparable worth —  Antidiscrimination argument that people doing the same job or having the same level of responsibility should be paid the same regardless of race or gender …   American business jargon