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Today in legal history...

Monday, June 10, 2013

President Kennedy signed Equal Pay Act of 1963 into law
Zachariah Rivenbark at 12:00 AM ET

On June 10, 1963, US President John Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 into law. The Equal Pay Act prohibited discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce. The law applied to male and female employees engaged in equal work that requires equal skill, effort and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions, with few exceptions. When President Kennedy signed the act into law, female employees in the US earned on average 60 percent of the wage paid to similarly situated male employees. President Kennedy was troubled by the affect of pay disparity on working mothers, who had to incur the costs of childcare on top of their unequal wages. He considered the Equal Pay Act a positive step towards remedying the situation.

Learn more about sex discrimination from the JURIST news archive.

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