Walmart Equal Pay Act Essay

2125 words - 9 pages

Wal-Mart Neglects Equal Pay for Equal Work

America’s discount giant seems to have found some loopholes on the way to success. Wal-Marts labor issue on gender discrimination (citing that women are not paid equal to men for the same work) proves to be a familiar but somewhat credible case. We have heard for years on end that inequality still exists heavily in organizations between different genders. Many Wal-Mart customers may sympathize with the big yellow smiling face that claims to slash prices, but not at the expense of its female employees.

According to a recent article in Northwest Labor Press, journalist Liza Featherstone said that Wal-Mart managers admitted to the unequal ...view middle of the document...

1).

Equal pay for equal work regardless of sex is exclaimed in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which branched off of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as section 6(d). It says that employers will not discriminate against employees under the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA by offering lower compensation to employees of one sex than to the other sex for equal work in the same environment, on the job that requires the same skills, effort, and responsibility performed under similar conditions (Twomey, 2001, p. 509). The act has four exceptions that would authorize employers to have a variation in wages: (1) a seniority system, (2) a merit system, (3) a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of work, or (4) a differential based on any factor other than sex. An example would be:

The Brinkley v. Harbour Recreation Club, Ms. Brinkley was hired as general manager of the Harbour Recreation Club, a golf club in New Bern, North Carolina, at $50,000 per year. At the end of the first year of operation, the club lost $166,000. At that point, the club offered Ms. Brinkley a lower-rated job as restaurant manager, which she declined. Soon thereafter, the club terminated her for gross negligence. She was replaced by a male successor at $75,400 a year. Brinkley filed an Equal Pay Act claim based on the fact that the employer agreed to pay a male $25,400 more than it had paid her to do the same job she had done. The court found, however, that the male successor was paid a higher salary based on “factors other than sex,” including his salary history and the fact his 11 years of industry experience was superior to Brinkley’s experience (p. 510).

Consequently, the roles were opposite in this example but the fact remains. There has been no evidence discovered that Wal-Mart uses some strategic hiring process for its managers or recruit from certain ivy league schools, but we must face the facts; with 72 percent of the workforce being women, its probably safe to say that women relate more to that industry than men. As a result of these discriminatory acts by the discount giant, women workers have filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart on behalf of 1.5 million women. Also, a group of union women who protested against Wal-Mart after hearing of this are striving to establish a union at the company which has not one union employee. Wal-Mart supports this no unionization by saying that this is one major way that they can keep prices down for consumers (McIntosh, p.1).

Based on the article, women workers have a legitimate claim. Some of the instances that took place were as follows: (1) An Indiana store manager, Melissa Howard, had to attend business meetings at a local Hooters restaurant, with fellow managers commenting on servers’ body parts and sharing their sexual fantasies. (2) Wal-Mart associate Christine Kwapnoski, despite frequent citations as “associate of the month” went 15 years without a promotion, even as lesser-qualified male employees...

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