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.
MA Minimum Wage is $9.00/hour January 1, 2015 posted on Dec 15
Massachusetts enacted the first state minimum wage law over 100 years ago on June 4, 1912. Thanks to the efforts of many committed individuals, businesses, and elected leaders at every level including the Governor, we have reason to celebrate again the Commonwealth’s lead when it comes to fair treatment of workers. Massachusetts now has the highest enacted state minimum wage set for $11.00 on January 1, 2017.
U.S. Renews Agreement to Help MA Combat Underground Economy posted on Nov 28
US Labor Secretary Tom Perez has renewed a three year agreement to help Massachusetts recover unpaid wages, back taxes unemployment insurance premiums, fines and penalties from employers who engage in fraudulent labor practices like misclassifying workers. The initiative commits the Department of Labor and the IRS to work with the Massachusetts Joint Task Force on the Underground Economy (JTF) which, since its inception, has collected nearly $56 million from unscrupulous businesses.
New Customer Service Feature: What Claimants and Employers Are Saying about UI Online posted on Nov 25
A year after launching its web based Unemployment Insurance system “UI Online”, the Department of Unemployment Services (DUA) embarked on an ambitious customer service initiative to solicit feedback from claimants and employers who used the new technology. UI is a critical safety net for someone …Continue Reading New Customer Service Feature: What Claimants and Employers Are Saying about UI Online