Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate
inequities in pay, insists that the values of certain tasks performed
in dissimilar jobs can be compared. In the last decade, this
approach has become a critical social policy issue, as large
numbers of private-sector firms and industries as well as federal,
state, and local governmental entities have adopted comparable
worth policies or begun to consider doing so.
This widespread institutional awareness of
comparable worth indicates increased public
awareness that pay inequities--that is, situations in
which pay is not "fair" because it does not reflect the
true value of a job--exist in the labor market.
However, the question still remains: have the gains
already made in pay equity under comparable worth
principles been of a precedent-setting nature or are
they mostly transitory, a function of concessions made
by employers to mislead female employees into
believing that they have made long-term pay equity
Comparable worth pay adjustments are indeed
precedent-setting. Because of the principles driving
them, other mandates
that can be applied to reduce or
eliminate unjustified pay gaps between male and
female workers have not remedied perceived pay
inequities satisfactorily for the litigants in cases in
which men and women hold different jobs. But
whenever comparable worth principles are applied to
pay schedules, perceived unjustified pay differences
are eliminated. In this sense, then, comparable worth
is more comprehensive than other mandates, such as
the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964. Neither compares tasks in
dissimilar jobs (that is, jobs across occupational
categories) in an effort to determine whether or not
what is necessary to perform these tasks--know-how,
problem-solving, and accountability--can be quantified
in terms of its dollar value to the employer.
Comparable worth, on the other hand, takes as its
premise that certain tasks in dissimilar jobs may
require a similar amount of training, effort, and skill;
may carry similar responsibility; may be carried on in
an environment having a similar impact upon the
worker; and may have a similar dollar value to the
it can be inferred from the passage that application of "other mandates" (see highlighted text) would be unlikely to result in an outcome satisfactory to the female employees in which of the following situations?
I. males employed as long -distance truck drivers for a furniture company make $3.50 more per hour than do females with comparable job experience employed in the same capacity.
II. Women working in the office of a cement company contend that their jobs are as demanding and valuable as those of the men working outside in the cement factory, but women are paid much less per hour.
III. A law firm employs both male and female paralegals with the same educational and career backgrounds, but the starting salary for male paralegals is $5000 more than for female paralegals.
a I only
b II only
c III only
d I and II only
e I and III only