In the struggle for gender equality in the workplace, there are several laws in particular that have aided women in the battle.
The Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938 ensures that both men and women earn at least a minimum wage. The current minimum wage hasn’t been able to match the standard of living, but the Fair Labor Standard Act of 1938 has been used as a model for minimum wage reform in a few states, as well as gender equality in the workplace in general.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 states that women cannot earn less than their male coworkers solely based on their gender. However, there are loopholes in the law, allowing some employers to get away with unequal pay. Under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, a woman can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the federal court and, if her case is successful, can recover lost wages, future wages, and attorney fees.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that it is unlawful for a company with 15 or more employees to discriminate based on race, sex, religion, or national origin. Consequently, this act promotes gender equality in the workplace and protects workers from hostile work environments based on sex and sexual harassment. In a similar vein, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1973 makes it illegal to discriminate based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions.
The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 states that companies with 50 employees or more must allow men and women to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave to care for their newborn or adopted child. However, it would be more beneficial for women if companies had the benefit of paid family leave, allowing them to take time off without worrying about losing their job or benefits.
A recent article by Attorney Tom Spiggle of the Spiggle Law Firm touches on these laws and more that have enabled women to strive for gender equality in the workplace. Click here to read it.