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.
New state-of-the-art Career Center opening in Boston on April 21. posted on Apr 15
A new state-of-the-art career center – CareerSolution – will open in Boston on Tuesday, April 21.
One More Reason to Hire a Veteran posted on Apr 13
As massive snow drifts melt and make way for Spring, many people are trying to forget this year’s particularly harsh New England winter. Yet, some will be remembered for their fortitude and dedication displayed during many the frigid storm. Jerome McKoy is employed at Wheelock …Continue Reading One More Reason to Hire a Veteran
Introducing the New Council on the Underground Economy posted on Apr 6
Legislation that took effect in March makes permanent the Joint Task Force on the Underground Economy (JTF) which has recovered more than $76 million from unscrupulous employers since its inception in 2008. Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II announced some of the new members on the Council on the Underground Economy (CUE) and released the JTF 2014 Annual Report.