50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This historic amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, guaranteeing equal pay for equal work regardless of gender, was rooted in the basic concepts of equality, opportunity, and value of work. These are timeless concepts cherished by a society that values the contributions women and men bring to industry through their labor.
The recognition that one’s abilities, steadfastness, and achievements should determine one’s wages, rather than one’s gender, was a major milestone at the time and provided the foundation for great progress made by women in the workplace over the past five decades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1979, women working full time earned 62 percent of what men did; twenty-two years later, women’s earnings were 82 percent of men’s. Far from perfect, this is still progress.
In today’s global and innovation economy, we need to encourage more women to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as the skilled trades. Apprenticeship is also an excellent workforce development tool that can boost women’s earnings while fostering a skilled workforce.
As we pause to reflect on this important milestone in labor law, we celebrate President Kennedy’s commitment to upholding the value of the American worker. Drawing on his commitment 50 years later, we re-affirm the purpose of equality in the workplace by ensuring that all workers are compensated with equal pay for equal work.
Up on the Rooftop—Don’t Put Your Workers at Risk During Snow Removal posted on Feb 18
Removing snow from rooftops on municipal and state properties must be done safely to protect workers from injury. After excessive snowfalls like we have seen, the weight of the snow could impact the structural integrity of roofs and can be a cause for concern. Workers …Continue Reading Up on the Rooftop—Don’t Put Your Workers at Risk During Snow Removal
Turning up the Heat in the Workplace—Guidelines for Minimum Temperatures posted on Feb 4
With indoor heating systems working on overdrive this time of year, the Department of Labor Standards often fields calls about employer obligations for workplace heat in stores, offices, and other indoor businesses. Private sector employers in Massachusetts are obligated by federal law (OSHA) to provide …Continue Reading Turning up the Heat in the Workplace—Guidelines for Minimum Temperatures
The Green Book Goes Digital ‒ Department of Labor Relations Posts First Searchable Database on MA Public Employee Collective Bargaining Laws posted on Feb 2
The Department of Labor Relations (DLR) has created a searchable electronic Green Book, giving readers free and easy access to Massachusetts Public Employee Collective Bargaining Laws with inter-active links to cited law, regulations and cases.