The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Pay Discrimination Still Workplace Reality Says Commission Chair Cari Dominguez

WASHINGTON - In observance of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act (EPA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has posted new information online at covering the history and enforcement of the EPA. In addition, EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez issued the following statement:

"Since its enactment on June 10, 1963, the Equal Pay Act has withstood the test of time and has been helping to pave the way for equality in the workplace for four decades. When the EPA was signed into law 40 years ago, the American labor force was radically different than the one we see today. Women have slowly climbed the corporate ladder and made in-roads to many traditionally male dominated professions. Although pay discrimination still rears its ugly head in the 21st century workplace, the EPA continues to be an effective force to remedy and deter such injustices.

"Employers should continue to be vigilant in preventing EPA violations and proactive in breaking down workplace barriers that operate to exclude on the basis of gender. We continue to see cases of blatant pay discrimination between men and women doing equal work. We continue to see cases of wage discrimination against people of color as well as individuals with disabilities. This should not be tolerated in the year 2003. Pay discrimination depresses the wages of working men and women and the families who rely on them for support. It also creates marketplace inefficiencies by not making optimum use of available labor resources.

"The Commission is firmly committed to the task of ensuring that all individuals have the freedom to compete and advance in the workplace on a level playing field. Strong enforcement of the EPA, coupled with vigorous education and outreach, remains a key component of ensuring equality of opportunity in the workplace. As we observe this 40th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, let us recommit to its principles and vision: a workplace that is fair and inclusive in all its aspects."

Further information about the Equal Pay Act and other laws enforced by the EEOC can be found on the Commission's web site at

This page was last modified on June 10, 2003.

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