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Equal Pay Act

Essay by review  •  November 17, 2010  •  Essay  •  2,447 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,801 Views

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Chapter 1: The Scenario

The story begins at a local Wal-Mart super center, its Friday, payday. As employees open their paychecks they are awaiting their annual raise. As one employee, Sue opens up her paycheck she finds she has not yet received a raise; she has waited all year for this raise. She is very sad to find she did not receive one, she begins to think maybe she did something wrong. She starts to think back through the year, and can not seem to come up with any solutions as to why she did not receive one. She really felt she worked especially hard that year in hopes to receive a good raise and really felt she deserved to be recognized for it. In the break room she overhears John, her follow co-worker, bragging to their colleague's about his second raise. Now John is making $1.25 more per hour than her even though they both have been working at Wal-Mart for two years. They both have the same job descriptions and titles so there should not be differences in their pay. Sue can not quite understand why he received two when she only received one. She has seen him numerous times being tardy for work or calling in sick. She knows she is a better worker and is more efficient. Sue recently took a human resource class at Buffalo State College and she remembers learning about a law regarding equal pay. She can't seem to recall the specifics, so she is determined to look into it further and fix the problem.

Chapter 2

Sue: The Victim

Sue is a 35 year old divorcee and mother of two young children. For the past ten years or so she has been doing similar work in retail that pays mediocre wages and that have given her good benefits. About two years ago Sue got was laid off from her last job. She applied at many different entry-level positions, as she has no other experience. She does not receive a lot of child support from her ex-husband so Sue relies on the income she brings in to support her and her two children. When Wal-Mart called Sue for an interview, she was so relieved and excited about the opportunity. Wal-Mart hired Sue; she was told that she would start above minimum because of her ten years experience in the field. She was also told that all full-time employees, based upon work performance, receive an annual raise of a dollar each year of their employment. Sue also received a 401k plan. Sue was excited, she hoped to slowly work her way up, maybe even into a management position, and perhaps even further over the next years that she would be working at Wal-Mart. She knew she was a dedicated and hard worker, who learned fast and enjoyed her work.

The following year, Sue received her annual raise, but it was for only $.75 instead of a dollar, but she was told that all employees received the same because of budget needs. Sue noticed that most of her female coworkers got the $.75 raise but when asked by some of the male workers, they responded they received the whole dollar raise. Sue knew there had to be a good explanation for this. When she approached management, they told her that she would receive her next annual raise of $1.25, to compensate for the 25 cent loss, but that all the employees that were only employed for one year received the same treatment. Sue was happy with her work and loved the people so she trusted upper management with their response.

The following year Sue waited for the annual raise, and never received one, but found out that many, or perhaps even all, the male employees received their $1.00 annual raise. Sue was furious. She desperately needs her pay, to help with her children. She does not live in the best part of town and her tiny house she resides in continually has leakage problems that she needs to quickly get fixed, but cannot because of the lack of money she is receiving at her job at Wal-Mart. Sue cannot afford to start all over again at another job with no promises that another company will hire her right away. Sue wants to take action, but it unsure how. So she decides to further investigate the case of Equal Pay by going to a library to search more about it.

Chapter 3: The Library

When Sue arrives at the library she begins her search. She finds out that the federal Equal Pay act has been on the books for nearly 40 years however it is little known and underutilized. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 has great potential to redress wage discrimination because it says comparable work and responsibility require equal pay.

Sue was outraged by her finding at work, regarding her co-workers higher compensation. Sue knew there was more she could do, she started searching the internet. She knew that was a great place to find information about situations like hers. Multiple results were found on the internet, but the most influential was from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Here she found the information she had been looking for, all the terms definitions and guidelines of the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

As she was reading the organizations website she discovered that The Equal Pay Act was intended to ensure the American citizens rights in obtaining equal pay and other employment related benefits for equal work. Sue thought to herself that this law was proving an injustice at her work place. The Equal Pay Act is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and requires full wages and other benefits for equal skill and responsibility, performed under similar working conditions. The law only requires the jobs to be substantially equal and thus, employers must be particularly aware of the issue of comparable work and pay. While Sue is reading the laws of the Equal Pay Act she learns of the abuse of pay Wal-Mart is involved with.

Sue feels that this is a good starting point in researching this law. She remembers a little more about what her human resource teacher lectured a class about and decides to dig deeper. The next site she goes to, she reads, that to prohibit discrimination on account of sex and the payment of wages by employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce. Be enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, this discrimination is deemed unconstitutional.

Knowing she has a case against Wal-Mart for unequal pay she decides to figure out how to go about resolving this incident in a court of law. While reading about ways to create a court case against Wal-Mart she finds a site that helps her on her way. On the site she reads, the administration or designated representatives may investigate and gather data regarding the wages, hours, and other conditions in practices in employment in any industry. They may enter and inspect such places and such records, and question employees and investigate the facts presented.

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