All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Business Administration (MBA)


College of Business & Professional Studies

Degree Program



Business Administration


Comparable Worth, Civil Rights Act, Equal Opportunity, Lawsuits


Comparable worth, which grew out of the equal opportunity decision. based on the 1965 Civil Rights Act, holds that law-paying undervalued jobs traditionally held by women should pay as much as comparable work done by men, even though the actual jobs are different.

A major factor in the comparable worth argument, of course, is the wage gap between men and women in the United States. In 1986, for example, the average pay for a full-time working woman was 64% of what men earned. This figure has remained virtually unchanged since the 1960's.

The largest court case (AFSCME v. State of Washington) involving comparable worth was handed down in December 1983 by Judge Jack Tanner awarding damages of $800 million to $1 billion to female state employees for sex based discrimination. This case dramatizes the potential liability this area of the law holds for all employers.

Many major corporations including American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), BankAmerica, International Business Machines (IBM) and Control Data Corporation have recently reevaluated their pay and evaluation systems to prevent possible future litigation.

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In Copyright