The Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires employers to pay employees equal pay for equal work, regardless of the employee’s sex.  So long as a job requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and is performed under similar working conditions, the employer must provide the same rate of pay to men and women who perform jobs that are substantially equal. It is job content—not job titles—that determines whether jobs are substantially equal.


Although this landmark law helped close the pay gap, improvements are necessary to make this civil rights act more effective. Women continue to earn less than their male counterparts. In 2011, the Census Bureau reported that women working full time earned on average 23 percent less than similarly situated men. Thus, for every dollar earned by a man, a woman doing equal work earned only 77 cents. The gap is substantially worse for women of color, with African American women earning 64 cents and Hispanic women earning 55 cents to every dollar earned by Caucasian men.

Leviticus 19:13 commands: “You shall not defraud your neighbor, nor rob him…”    Paying women less money for the same work as men is morally and legally wrong. Eliminating the pay gap not only remedies discrimination, it is good for families and for business. Working families lose $200 billion in income annually to the wage gap. If the wage gap were eliminated, annual family incomes would increase by $4,000, cutting the poverty rate by half. According to U.S. Census data, by the age of 65 years, the average working woman would have lost more than $430,000 over her working lifetime. Unequal pay throughout women’s working lives results in lower social security earnings thus contributing to impoverishment for older women. Forward looking employers recognize that eliminating pay differentials makes good business sense. Pay equity can help with competitiveness, worker retention, and productivity.


The Jewish Council for Public Affairs believes that:



The community relations field should:


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