Today in labor history: Kennedy signs bill to overcome sexism in pay

On this day in 1963, President John F. Kennedy passed the Equal Pay Act aimed at eliminating unequal pay for women. At that time women earned only 60 cents for every dollar made by men.  The law, passed as an Amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, would “prohibit discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers.”

For the first several years after its enactment the EPA did not cover white collar employees. This was corrected by an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Educational Amendment of 1972 which included white collar workers. 

Still, the gender wage gap has persisted, with women today only making only 77  percent of men’s earnings as compared to 80 percent in 1994.

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