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CASE STUDIES
IN

EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN




UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Maurice a Tobin, Secretary
WOMEN'S BUREAU
Frieda S. Miller, Director
Washington 25, D.C.
D-16
September 1951




This report was prepared in the
Research Division of the Women1 s
Bureau.

It was written by Mary

H. Brilla, Labor Economist, under
the direction of Pearl C. Ravner,
Chief, Economic Studies Branch.
The field work was performed under
the direction of Ethel Erickson,
Chief, Field Branch.

CONTENTS
Page
I . Summary

.. *.

II, Coverage and methodology of Women1 s Bureau study
III. Current status of equal pay in firms visited
IV. Development of equal pay in firms visited
V. Management reactions
VI.

History of equal pay in industry

VII. The eight firms studied




1
... 2
2
4
5
5
8

Case A - Department store

8

Case B - Department store

10

Case C - Bank

12

Case D - Bank

13

Case E - Electrical products plant

14

Case F - Radio plant

19

Case G - Aircraft plant
Case H - Precision instruments plant

21
24




CASE

STUDIES

IN

EQUAL

PAY

FOR

WOMEN

I. SUMMARY
The payment of lower wage rates to women than to men doing
the same work has a long history, and efforts have been made for
many years to secure for women the same remuneration that men
receive when they do equal work. The railroads, first industry
known to have adopted an equal-pay policy on an industry-wide
basis, employed women as early as the 1830's, but did not establish equal pay until 1918, when directed to do so by the Federal
Government. The first State equal-pay law was adopted in 1919>
and by 1949 12 States had adopted equal-pay laws.
During World War II, when millions of women went into industry,
the practice of paying the rate for the job, regardless of the worke r ^ sex, became increasingly common. This policy was continued in
many cases after the war. To find out how equal pay has worked in
practice and what managements attitude toward it was after a period
of experience, the Women's Bureau in the Spring of 1951 Undertook
case studies of eight firms with 5 to 25 years of experience with
equal pay.
All of the companies visited were paying the same rates to
men and women doing the same work, but all had in addition some
jobs that were considered "men's jobs" or "women's jobs." The
"women's jobs" were not only lower paid, as a rule, but there
were indications that they were sometimes much underrated in
comparison with "men's jobs." Although this practice of reserving
certain jobs for either men or women had not been completely aban~
doned b r any of the companies at the time of the study, it was
j
becoming less common. The wartime experience of finding women
performing satisfactorily in certain jobs that they had not held
before the war led to their retention on such jobs, and at the same
rates that were paid to men. Although seme women in all eight companies were highly paid, relatively few of them held higher-level
jobs.
Despite initial resistance by some of the employers, management
in all of the plants visited felt, after 5 or more years of experience with equal pay, that it had been successful. All agreed that
it was an equitable pay policy that contributed to good employee
relations.




- 2II#

COVERAGE AND METHODOLOGY OF WOMEN'S BUREAU STUDY

In March and April of 1951, the Women's Bureau made case
studies of eight firms that had an equal-pay policy for at least
5 years to find out how equal pay has worked in practice and
what its major advantages have been. One of the eight firms was
in Maryland, which has no equal-pay law; the others were in New
York State, which has a law prohibiting discrimination in rate
of pay on the basis of sex. The industries represented were:
Aircraft manufacturing, one establishment; electrical and electronics manufacturing, twoj banking, twoj department stores, two;
and precision instruments manufacturing, one establishment.
Women's Bureau agents visited each firm and obtained from
management representatives information on the development and
application of the equal-pay policy, and management's evaluation
of its success and advantages. Data on employment, rates of pay,
and other pertinent factors that helped to show the effects of
the equal-pay policy were also secured. When there was a collective bargaining agreement between the employer and a labor union,
the union was also visited, and similar information was obtained.
In addition, information was secured on equal-pay experience in
the railroad industry and on the effectiveness of the equal-pay
law in New York State* The data obtained on the eight establishments were secured from statements made in interviews and were not
based upon actual records or plant surveys.
III. CURRENT STATUS OF ECAJAL PAY IN FIRMS VISITED
Department stores
In the two department stores visited, men and women in both
sales and non-sales jobs were paid the same rate when they did the
same job, and in many cases men and women were doing the same job.
But there was a tendency for certain higher-paid jobs in various
departments to be filled entirely or chiefly by men, either because
of tradition or because men were supposedly better qualified for
those jobs. Examples were the furniture and fine jewelry departments, in both of which earnings were high and men were in the
majority. Women as well as men were employed as buyers, section
managers, and in some other higher-level jobs, but top administrative jobs in the department stores were held by men, with certain
notable exceptions.
Management in both stores considered the equal-pay policy the
only fair system of wage payment and felt that it made wage administration easier. The personnel director of one store said, "It is
criminal to think that men and women should receive different rates
for the same work." She noted that, "In jobs at the lower levels,
management gets more out of women than out of men* At the executive level, women have a greater sense of responsibility toward
their jobs than men have."



Banks
The employment of women in anything but routine clerical
jobs was recent in both of the banks visited, dating back only
to World War II. At that time, the banks started hiring women
for such jobs as tellers, teller-trainees, junior examiners, and
IBM operators. One bank started paying women hired for such jobs
the same rates as men from the beginning. The other at first paid
lower rates to such women but, as all salaries were raised, equalized men's and women's rates.
Management of both banks felt that the equal-pay policy was
just, and there was a feeling that it might have resulted in a
greater interest in their work on the part of women.
Airplane manufacturing
In the airplane manufacturing plant visited, women had been
employed for 10 years or more as production workers. In all of
this time, equal rates were paid to men and women doing the same
work. There was a single seniority list, and men and women had
the same opportunity for advancement. Job classifications were
in terms of job content, rather than the worker's sex. According to a management representative, "A foreman doesn't know, when
a new worker is being sent to his department, whether it will be
a man or a woman. The only consideration is whether the person
can do the job." Nevertheless, women tended to cluster in the
lower labor grades.
Management considered an equal-pay policy the only fair wage
policy and has never considered any other.
Electrical manufacturing and precision instrument manufacturing.
The payment of equal rates to men and women doing the same job
was recent in the two electrical manufacturing plants and the one
precision instrument, manufacturing plant visited, dating only from
the -end of the World War II period. In each case, equal pay resulted from the union's activity and, in at least two of the plants, the
company was initially opposed to equal pay.
In these plants women worked on many of the same assembly-line
jobs as menj they even worked in tool rooms and machine shops. Many
were employed, as were men, as drill press and lathe operators, and
in testing and inspection. But in all of these plants there were
many women on operations for which only women were employed, such as
assembling and light packing, (it is especially true in the electrical industry that, although there is a large proportion of women
among the production workers, the women tend to be doing what are
considered women's jobs.)
One union representative said that it is the women who do the




- 4production work and "make the money for the company11 in this industry. A 1945 War Labor Board opinion in a case involving one of the
fir.ns visited included the following remarks which bear out this
statement:
"If men were to be substituted for women on the
so-called women's jobs, there would probably be a very
real loss in efficiency and productivity since it is
recognized that men are not as well adapted as women
for light, repetitive work requiring finger dexterity.
The productive work of women on the jobs to which they
are customarily assigned, if fairly weighed, might well
offset any added production costs resulting from such
factors as absenteeism, transient character of service,
etc."
Asked why there had been a system of paying lower rates to
women than to men doing the same work, the management representative in one electrical and electronics manufacturing firm said that
this practice probably dated back to the time when women had very
limited opportunities for employment in industry and could therefore be hired for less than men, whose opportunities were greater.
The same War Labor Board opinion cited above also bore out this
point, with the following words:
"The true source of the sex differentials is
probably to be found in history rather than in any
objective tests or cost calculations."
IV. DEVELOPMENT OF EQUAL PAY M THE FIRMS VISITED
In all of the firms visited, men and women doing the same jobs
were receiving the same rate of pay. Current job classifications
in each case were based on a job evaluation made about the time of
World War II.
The department stores, even before the war period, were well
on their way to paying the rate for the job regardless of the worker's
sex* The equal-pay policy was initiated in the aircraft manufacturing company when women were first hired as production workers. In
the banks and in the electrical and the precision instruments manufacturing companies, however, this policy was started in the midforties.
Before World War II, comparatively small numbers of women in
the firms visited did the same work as men and, when they did, their
rates of pay were generally lower than those paid to men doing the
same work. In one plant, for instance, women were paid about 5 to
24 cents per hour less than men doing the same jobs. In another
plant, women packers were paid only 47 cents an hour, while men were
receiving 65 cents per hour for the same work. Most women, however,




- 5were employed on jobs that were either designated as "women's
jobs" or, without being so designated, were actually filled by
women only* These jobs paid substantially less than "men's jobs"
that required no more and sometimes even less skill and effort.
During the war, manpower shortages forced the plants to hire
women, at men's rates, for some of the jobs formerly held by men
only. In many cases, the employment of women on such jobs and the
practice of paying them the same rates paid to men continued after
the war.

V. MANAGEMENT REACTIONS
Management in each of the plants visited expressed approval
of an equal-pay policy and considered it. the only fair system of
wage payment. Advantages of equal pay cited were:
1. That*the equal-pay policy reduced friction over rates;
2. That it improved employee moralej
3. That women's attitude toward their work improved and
their efficiency increased;
4. That equal pay protected men's rates from undercutting
by women; and
5. That an equal-pay system was easier to administer than
a dual rate structure based on sex.
Although each firm visited approved an equal-pay policy, the
reasons for approval varied. All the persons visited considered
it simple justice for men and women to receive the same pay for the
same work. Some based their approval entirely on this principle.
Others stated that, as a result of adopting an equal-pay policy,
women actually did more and better work, and that their efficiency
and morale were much helped.
VI. HISTORY OF EQUAL PAY IN INDUSTRY
The first major step forward for equal pay was made during
World War I, when equal pay for men and women railroad employees
was established. Women had been employed by the railroads as
early as the 1830's, at first as charwomen, and later in railroad
offices. By the time World War I began, the railroads were employing significant numbers of women. This number increased tremendously during the war.
Great progress was made in 1916 and 1917 in the standardization of wages in the railroad industry and in the elimination of




- 6many differentials through negotiations between employers and
labor unions. According to the annual report of the Director
General of Railroads in 1918, however, women were in many cases
not paid the same wages as men. In a December 1917 message to
Congress, the President of the United States advocated equal pay
for women in the railroad industry on the grounds that women
deserved fair treatment and that in the past exploited female
labor had served to depress men's wages. On May 25, 1918, following a report by the Rail road Wage Commission, General Order No, 27
was issued. Article 5 of the Order stated, with reference to
women workers on the railroads, ",,,their pay, when they do the
same class of work as men, shall be the same as that of men,"
This was an important .precedent in establishing the principle of equal pay for equal work. In the words of Pauline Goldmark,
Manager of the Women's Service Section of the U.S. Railroad Administration from 1918 to 1920:
"It was, indeed, a new experience for women to
enjoy the same economic advantages as men. The very
first order of the Director General established a
policy of equal pay for men and women when they do
the same class of work. This was a s ignificant step
in the industrial history of women in this country,
because it was the first announcement by the Government, in any department, that it considered women on
an equality with men in all the different forms of
work which they were called on to perform," 1/
A help to women in retaining this advantage after the war was
their admission into labor unions on the same terms as men in most
railroad occupations. The practice of paying women the same rates
as men when they did the same work was continued and has never been
changed in this industry. Management has never, in the more than
30 years that the equal-pay policy has been in effect, even considered reopening the equal-pay question in its negotiations with
the union.
In 1919* the States of Montana and Michigan passed equal-pay
laws. Despite this and other advances over the years in obtaining
equal pay for women, it was the World War II situation that brought
about substantial progress in this area for women in industry. For
instance, all pf the ten States besides Montana and Michigan that
have equal-pay laws passed such legislation either during or after
World War II, In a statement to a Congressional committee, the
New York State Department of Labor reported, "Entrance of large
numbers of women into war industries during World War II accelerated the movement of paying women 'the rate for the job1 regardless
1/ Goldmark, Pauline, "Women in the railroad wo rid,n The Annals
of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 86:214-221,
November 1919*



- 7of sex and gave an impetus and a background to broadspread compliance with the State1s new Equal-Pay Law." (New York State EqualPay Law, adopted in 1944.)
The New York State Department of Labor also noted that the
rapidly increasing membership of women in trade unions, accelerated by the war, had contributed to the growing acceptance of the
equal-pay principle. By 1943 a number of unions had equal-pay
clauses in their contracts. For instance, the United Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers of America had about 150 signed agreements, covering at least 800 factories, which included the equalpay clausej the United Rubber Workers had such a clause in about
142 of its agreements, and the United Automobile Workers of America
had about 50 agreements embodying the equal-pay principle.
Further impetus to widespread adoption of equal pay during
World War II was given by the National War Labor Board, which
ordered establishment of suchftpolicy in a number of dispute
cases. The Board also provided, in General Order No. 16, that
employers might grant pay increases without War Labor Board
approval when such increases were for the purpose of equalizing
men's and women's rates of pay.
As had happened with the railroads earlier, many of the firms
that began paying the rate for the job, regardless of the worker's
sex, during World War II found this policy successful and continued
it after the war. The position of many working women has improved
as the equal-pay principle has gained wider acceptance. The New
York State Department of Labor was able to report at a Congressional
hearing, "The Equal-Pay Law of New York State has been effective in
establishing the principle. More and more employers of the State
have accepted the principle of 'equal pay1 and have made necessary
changes in their procedures in order to be in compliance with the
law. Workers individually and in their associations recognize its
value. Its enactment has been a big step forward in labor legislation, affecting both men and women." The following statement
from a May 1942 bulletin of the National Association of Manufacturers would seem to sum up the attitude of forward-looking employers
and workers on this subject:
"There is little difference between men and women
as regards their satisfactory performance in industry.
Sound employment and personnel practices are applicable
to both men and women and no emphasis should be placed
on any distinctions between them as workers."




- 8VII, THE EIGHT FIHHS STUDIED
Case A
Industry:

Retail - Department store.

Employment:

Approximately 2,650 full-time selling and nonselling staff, about 65 percent women. Also
400 part-time selling staff, mostly women.

Union?

Independent.

1. PRESENT STATUS OF EQUAL PAT
State law:
-

Discrimination in rate of pay because of sex prohibited. Domestic and farm labor and non-profit organizations exempt. Law adopted in 1944*

Union contract: "The Employer shall continue the past policy of
~
no discrimination against any employee because of union
activity, sex, race, creed, color or political belief."
Present wage and occupational structure: In 1938, on the basis of
a 30b evaluation, all selling and nonselling jobs
were classified into 11 grades without sex differential. Later all jobs were reclassified, and 3 regular
grades were established, plus 1 grade for higher-level
jobs at individual rates. The bulk of the jobs are in
grades A and B, the two lower grades.
Grade

Selected departments

Weekly rate 1/
Hiring

60 days 6 mod.

Grade A
Sales

Drugs, hosiery, notions, stationery, etc
Kon-sales Most office jobs, other nonsales jobs
Grade B
Ready-to-wear, yard goods, etc.
Sales
Kon-sales Stenographers

$36

m

$38

36

38

40

40
40

b2

42
44

46
46

48
48

48
50

Grade C
Sales

Millinery, coats, better dresses,
china, etc
Non-sales Some office jobs
Grade D
(Unclassi- Window triimers and stylist arfied)
tists, retouch artist, expensive jewelry, higher level
jobs ••..
l/ Plus commission,



for salespeople.

Individual rates for job!

- 92. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION BY SEX
Most jobs are in grades A and B. Although both men and women are
found in many departments, there are certain departments where
either men or women are entirely excluded or are in a minority
because of the nature of the work or because of tradition. For
instance, there is only one woman in the furniture department, a
high-paying department with substantial commissions. Traditionally, men have been employed in this department, and because of low
turn-over there are few opportunities for new people to move into
the department. The woman who now works there earns as much as
$9,000 to $10,000 per year.
Packing is divided into light and heavy packing and women do only
the lighter packing, handling articles that weigh a maximum of
10-12 pounds. These women are called semibulk packers; men, at
a higher rate of pay, do the bulk packing. However, the packing
done by women involves much handling of small, fragile articles
that require careful handling and packing.
In the office, most of the higher-level administrative jobs are
held by men. All of the window trimmers are men. Women are not
employed as trimmers, partly because night-work legislation prevents their working the late hours necessary to this work, and
partly because the work involves much heavy lifting. However,
there is a woman display stylist who has the same rating, in the
grade D classification, as the display trimmers. Another woman
is employed as a retouch artist, also in the grade D classification.
y. DEVELOPMENT OF EQUAL-PAY POLICY
There has been a trend in the department stores in this area to
pa^r women the same rates as men when they do the same work. Consequently, by the time the first union contract was negotiated in
1936, the equal-pay policy was well established in this store, as
the wording of the nondiscrimination clause indicates: "The
Employer shall continue the past policy of no discrimination
against any employee because of...sexo..n
Although equal pay has not been an issue at this store, there has
been and is the related problem of equal ppportunity. Women are
not represented in proportion to their total number in the store
in c ertain higher-paying jobs. Both management and the union
are aware of this situation, and both seem interested in correcting it. This, then, is a case in which there is a well-established
equal-pay policy, initiated by management and supported by the union,
and in which both are interested in helping women to realize the full
benefit? of such a policy by permitting them to advance to high-paying
jobs in which they are not yet fully represented.



- 10 4-

ADVANTAGES OF EQUAL PAY

Both management and the union fully endorsed the policy of paying
men and women equally for the same work. The equal-pay policy
has come to be taken for granted by the company and, as far as
management is concerned, problems of wage administration are much
lessened with a single rate structure. It was felt by both management and the union that it was only fair that women be paid the
same rate as men when they do the same work, and that the policy
has been successful.

Case 3
Industry:

Retail Trade - Department ^tore.

Employment:

3,600 employees, about 60 percent women.

Union:

None.

1. PRESENT STATUS OF EQJ AL PAY
State law:

Discrimination in rate of pay because of sex prohibited. Domestic and farm labor and non-profit
organizations exempt. Law adopted in 19UU*

Union contract: None.
Present wage and occupational structure: Jobs are classified on
the basis of a job evaluation fitted to store's
special needs. -There are minimum and maximum rates
for each job, and increases are on a merit basis.
They are based on the average of two ratings—a
personal and a selling rating. When the merit rating
is being made, names of workers are covered so that
neither sex nor any other personal factors will affect
the rating.
The minimum hiring rate in this store is $38 a week.
This is the minimum for the hosiery, accessories,
stationery, and some other first-floor departments.
2. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION BY SEX
The furniture, shoe, and rug departments are the only ones noted in
which workers are paid on a commission basis. There are women in
both the shoe and the furniture departments, and their drawing
account is the same as the men's.
Women are represented in many departments throughout the store, and




- 11 some of them are section managers and assistant section managers.
Most buyers are women, and there are women supervisors. The
credit manager, a merchandise manager, and an assistant merchandise manager are women. In every case, the equal-pay policy
applies•
The company is beginning to recognize that women are needed in
management, and there has been emphasis upon giving women opportunities to advance to management jobs. The personnel director
and another woman are on the company's board of directors.
3o DEVELOPMENT OF EQUAL-PAY POLICY
For many years, there has been a trend toward paying equal rates
to men and women for the same work in this area's department
stores. Sy 1939, most differentials had been eliminated, and the
few that stiJJ. existed were small. One of the personnel director's
first concerns was to eliminate the existing differentials and to
provide greater opportunity for women to advance to higher-level
jobs.
As a result, women are now represented in most departments throughout the store and more women than before hold such jobs as section
manager and assistant .section manager, and a policy of equal pay
for equal work prevails throughout the store.
It was pointed out that, even when management has an equal-pay
policy, inequities might arise as a result of lack of sympathy
with this policy on the part of some supervisory personnel, or as
a result of error somewhere along the line. Only the women's
own alertness and insistence upon fair treatment can prevent
this, and sessions have been held with the women in order to
discuss with them the equal-pay policy and their part in making
it work.
4. ADVANTAGES OF EQUAL PAY
The personnel director considered it only fair that women be given
equal pay for equal work and said that, "It is criminal to think
that men and women should receive different rates for the same
work," and that, "In jobs at the lower levels, management gets
more out of women than out of men. At the executive level, women
have a greater sense of responsibility toward their jobs than men
do." The personnel director pointed out, however, that women have
to be better than men to make equal progress and that the real
problem in such organizations as department stores, where the
principle of equal pay is quite well established, is one of equal
opportunity.



- 12 Case C
Industry:

Banking.

Employment:

280 employees, about 37 percent women.

Union:

None.

1. PRESENT STATUS OF EQUAL PAT
State law:

Discrimination in rate of pay because of sex prohibited. Domestic and farm labor and non-profit
organizations exempt. Law adopted in 1944.

Union contract: None.
Present wage and occupational structure: Job classifications
and rates of pay are based on a job evaluation, and there is no
distinction on the basis of sex. Increases are on the basis of
merit ratings, which are reviewed without reference to the worker's name or sex.
2. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION BI SEX
Both men and women are hired as tellers and teller's clerks,
order clerks and junior examiners, and IBM operators in the
controller's department. The following brief summaries give
the rates and some indication of the distribution of men and
women in these jobs:
Teller's clerk, $1,800 - $2,800. There are 10 or 12 of
these jobs. This is a training job for tellers.
Before the war, men were hired for this job, but
recently only women have been hired.
Teller,

$2,400 - $3,940. There are about 10 men and 10
women on this job.

Controller's dept.:
Order clerk, $2,100 - $3,600. More women than men are
being hired.
Jr. examiner, $2,700 - $4,100* Only one woman at this
level.
IBM operator, $2,400 - $3,600. One man and one woman,
who is at a slightly higher rate than the man.
Such higher-paid personnel as accountants, investment specialists,
appraisers of loans and collateral, and vault custodians are all
men.




- 13 3* DEVELOPMENT OF EQUAL-PAY POLICY
Before 1942 or 1943, equal pay was not an issue in this bank, because
men and women were not being employed on the same jobs. Women were
hired almost exclusively for stenographic, filing, and routine clerical jobs, but not for any of the banking areas. During World War II
women were hired for the first time as tellers and teller's clerks
at the same rate of pay as men, and this policy has been continued.
4. ADVANTAGES OF EQUAL PAY
Management considered it just that women receive the same pay as men
for the same work, and thought they might be more content and more
likely to work a little harder than men when they were treated fairly. On the whole, an equal-pay policy was considered fair to the
women and was accepted by the men—especially younger men who took
the policy for granted, and management felt that it had a favorable
effect upon women's work and attitudes.

Case D
Industry?

Banking.

Employment:

190 employees, about 42 percent women.

Union:

None.

1. PRESENT STATUS OF EQUAL PAY
State law:

Discrimination in rate of pay because of sex prohibited. Domestic and farm labor and nonprofit organizations exempt. Law adopted in 1944*

Union contract: None.
Present wage and occupational structure: A job evaluation is the
basis of the present job classifications and rates
of pay. There is no distinction on the basis of
sex, but actually the only jobs on which both men
and women are employed are teller, teller-trainee,
and junior clerk.
2. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION BY SEX
Jobs on which both men and women are employed:
Junior clerk, Start at $30 per week, if no previous experience.
Advance as abilities and job openings permit.




- 14 Teller-trainee, Starting rate is $35 to $50 per week, depending upon previous banking experience. Eight or
nine women and smaller number of men on the job.
Teller,

Maximum
because
is same
nine or

$89
men
for
ten

per week. No women at this rate now
have more seniority, but progression
men and women. Four or five women and
men on this job.

In these jobs, women have equal chances for advancement as well
as equal pay, and in the junior clerk classification the present
policy is to give women greater consideration than men for
advancement. Women are not employed in the higher-salaried
categories, such as loans, accounting, auditing, and the controller's office.
3. DEVELOPMENT OF EQUAL-PAY POLICY
Previous to.World War II, men and women were not employed on the
same jobs. Women were hired for stenographic and general clerical
work only.
During the war women were employed for the first time as tellers
and teller-trainees, at rates below those of men, who had greater
seniority. Rates were on an individual basis. Later, as all
salaries were increased and women continued to be hired for these
jobs, they were hired at about the same rates as men, although
individual rates depended upon the worker's experience and qualifications. A job evaluation was made after the-war and the present
job classifications, with a single pay scale for men and women,
were set up. There have been no basic or major changes in this
system since that time.
4. ADVANTAGES OF EQUAL PAY
Management felt that it was just that men and women receive the
same pay for the same work and believed that women's chances
for advancement had increased with equal pay. The equal-pay
policy has been accepted and has worked successfully here.

Case E
Industry;

Manufacturing - Electrical and electronic products.

Employment:

7,000 - 8,000 plant employees, about 55 percent
womenj 3,500 salaried employees, 40 percent women.

Union:

CIO.




- 15 1. PRESENT STATUS OF EQUAL PAY
State law:

Discrimination in rate of pay because of sex prohibited.1 Domestic and farm labor and nonprofit
organizations exempt. Law adopted in' 1944•

Union contract: Equal pay not mentioned in contract. An equalpay clause was considered unnecessary because of
the State equal-pay law, which the union polices.
Present wage and occupational structure: A job evaluation is the
basis of the job classification system. A learner's
rate and a job rate are assigned to each job. Many
jobs in the plant are on a piece rate, and for each
of these an "anticipated earned rate," the hourly
rate that a worker is expected to make on the job,
is also computed. The minimum rate in the plant
now is $1.11 per hour, and the maximum is $1.99 per
hour (no women are at this higher rate).
2. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION BY SEX
Although there are no separate men's and women's jobs as such, in
practice most jobs are assigned either to men or to women exclusively because of the alleged greater suitability of the job for one or
the other. For instance, certain jobs are said to be too heavy or
too dirty for women.
But, in this respect, the comment of the union official who went
through the list of jobs with a Women's Bureau representative and
checked the jobs done by men and women is interesting. He said, at
one point, "Oh, these are all men's jobs on this page. They
wouldn't be paying women these rates." He did not endorse this
policy, but said there were different rates for jobs assigned to
women and those assigned to men, and that the rates for women's
jobs, as compared with rates paid men's jobs, were lower than was
justified on the basis of skills required.
Of the approximately 4,000 women in the plant, about 200 are doing
the same jobs as men. Among the jobs on which both men and women
are employed are:
accumulators in stockroom
brazers
coordinators
drivers, station wagons (2 men and 2 women)
inspectors
lathe operators
material handlers
punch press operators



- 16 spot welders (l woman spot welder, an instructor, earns
more than men)
testers
tube workers (about 60 of 140 workers on 1st shift are
women)
wirers
On lines where television receivers are assembled both men and
women are employed on similar jobs, even on the main or final
assembly line, where women do all the operations that men do
except actually putting the chassis into the cabinet. This
latter job involves heavy lifting and is done only by men.
There are several women foremen. One woman has been a foreman
for over 15 years. She held this job in another of the company's
plants until the up-State branch was opened, when she was trans-'
ferred to the new location.
The majority of the women in this plant are on jobs that are, for
all practical purposes, women's jobs; and they are concentrated on
the assembly lines, both subassembly and final assembly. They also
do inspection, testing, and light packing.
Among the salaried personnel, there are comparatively few women
doing the same jobs as men, although there are both men and women
doing the same kind of work in personnel, production scheduling,
simple drafting, and statistical work. But generally women do
clerical, stenographic, and secretarial work, and men hold the higherlevel administrative jobs.
3. DEVELOPMENT OF EQUAL-PAT POLICY
a. Plant visited
Before World War II and even during the war, there were substantial
differentials in the rates of men's and women's pay in the company's
plants. In 1943, before passage of the State's equal-pay law, the
union sued the company on the ground that it was violating the State
minimum-wage law by paying women class D assemblers 37 cents per
hour, when the law specified a 40-cent minimum in the State. Men
were being paid 64 cents for the same job. However, no adjustments
were made, because the women testified in court that the work was
too heavy for them and they were taken off the job.
When the State equal-pay law was adopted in 1944, those women doing
the same jobs as men were either raised to the same rate that men
were getting, or their jobs were broken down or altered in some way
so that they were no longer doing exactly the same work as the men.
Women on punch presses and lathes doing the same work as men were
raised to men's rates for the job. Some women, who had been paid 47




- 17 cents per hour for a packing job on which men were paid 65 cents
per hour, were raised to the 65—cent rate* But t f regular packing
hi
department was reorganized so that men and women were no longer
doing the same work. It was divided into a light packing department
staffed and supervised by women and a heavy packing department
staffed and supervised by men, and the men were paid a higher rate
than the women.
Equal pay for men and women doing the same work has been in effect,
then, at least since passage of the State law in 1944* But differ^entials in rates for men's and women's jobs remained and figured
prominently in a War Labor Board case during World War II.
b. War Labor Board case - all of the company's plants
In 1945 this company (all plants) was involved in a War Labor Board
case in which equal pay was one of the major issues. Evidence presented in the case showed that the company was paying the same rate
to men and women for identical work. But there were differences in
rates for men's and women's jobs, and the evidence showed that the
differences were not justified on the basis of job content. For
instance, in nine of the plants the minimum rate paid to women was
lower than that paid to men. The differences ranged from 9 to 18
cents per hour—as little as 9 cents in only one plant, but as
much as 18 cents in three plants. These were the lowest rates at
which women were then employed. In some cases women's starting
rates were lower, but no women in the plant were at the starting
rate.
At one of the company's locations the male common labor rate was
80 cents per hour, and the highest rate for women was 84 cents.
Only .4 of 1 percent, of the women in the plant were paid 80 cents,
and only .2 of 1 percent were paid 84 cents. All of the other
women in the plant were paid 62-77 cents per hour—less than the
men sweepers, the lowest-paid men in the plant. It was noted that
"All but a small fraction of the women's jobs are rated substantially below male common labor despite the fact that many, if not
most of these jobs, clearly involve more skill, mental aptitude,
and responsibility than the male common labor jobs."
A manual, apparently descriptive of the job evaluation plan used
by the company (at that time, not now), directed that the factors
for each job should be rated at 100 percent of their determined
value for men's jobs and at two-thirds of their determined value
for women's jobs. This manual was introduced in evidence by the
union at the hearings.
The company itself virtually conceded that the differentials in
the men's and women's rates in the various plant locations could
not'be justified on the basis of job content. It was noted that
"If men were to be substituted for women on the so-called women's
jobs, there would probably be a very real loss in efficiency and
productivity since it is recognized that men are not as well adapted




- 18 as women for light, repetitive work requiring finger dexterity.^ The
productive work of women on the jobs to which they are customarily
assigned, if fairly weighed, might well offset any added production
costs resulting from such factors as absenteeism, transient character of service, etc."
Somewhat the same comment was made by one of the persons interviewed
in connection with the present study, who said that in most electrical manufacturing plants it is the women who do the production work
and "make the money for the company," A union representative mentioned that the paying of higher rates to men on the ground that
their work involved a greater physical strain was not always justified. He pointed out that the constant arm and finger movements
involved in many women's jobs in the plant were, in the course of
the day, probably more wearing in many cases than the occasional
lifting of a 30- or 40-pound box. He noted too that the jobs done
by women often involve close attention to work, and a concentration'
that is fatiguing.
The War Labor Board recommended, in 1945, that the company reduce,
the differentials over a period of time, since the gaps were too
great to be eliminated at once without serious dislocations. Although
sane adjustments have been made, rates have still—5 years later—not
been entirely equalized between men's and women's jobs. Men and women
doing exactly the same job are paid the same rates. But the practice of assigning most jobs to men or women exclusively, with lower
rates for the women5 s jobs, continues. However, there has been some
narrowing of the gap between rates for men's and women's jobs.
4. ADVANTAGES OF EQUAL PAY
The War Labor Board opinion states, "The true source of the sex differentials is probably to be found in history rather than in any
objective tests or cost calculations." The same opinion was expressed by the management representative who was interviewed in connection
with the present study. He stated that because women's job opportunities had been relatively limited in industry in the past, it had
been possible to get them to work for less than men, and employers
took advantage of this fact to underpay women. He felt that women
had made their place in industry, that they had proved their worth
as workers, and that they were entitled to be paid as much as men
when they did the same work.
Management felt that there was less friction when women were paid
equally for equal work, that such a pay system was easier to administer than a system of differentials, and that it was hard to justify
differentials. The representative who was interviewed said, "I'd hate
to be the one to have to sit across the bargaining table trying to
justify differentials."



- 19 Management and the union agreed that equal pay helped to prevent
undercutting of men's rates by cheap female labor; both felt too
that justice demanded that women, who have proved their worth to
industry, should receive equal pay for equal work.

Case F
Industry:

Manufacturing-Hadio sets, radio parts, parts for
communication equipment.

Employments

296 plant employees, about 42 percent women; 54
salaried employees* 33 percent women.

Union?

Independent.

1. PRESENT STATUS OF EQUAL PAY
State law:

Discrimination in rate of pay because of sex prohibited. Domestic and farm employment and non-profit
organizations exempt. Law adopted in 1944*

Union contract: "There shall be no discrimination against any
employee either in hiring, promoting, advancement
or assigning of jobs or with respect to any other
terms or conditions of employment because of such
employees' union membership or activity, sex, race,
creed, color or religious affiliation."
Present wage and occupational structure: Wage rates are established by collective bargaining for a group of radio
manufacturers. There is a job classification plan,
with job descriptions and rates for key jobs. These
are certain selected jobs common to all of the radio
manufacturing plants and are described in detail and
rated as to skills required and other job factors.
The individual firms rate all jobs in their plants
in relation to these key jobs, using them as a gauge,
to determine where in the rate and classification
scale the other jobs belong•




Rates are set with reference to these key jobs, and
without regard to whether they are performed by men
or women. Classifying and rating is done on a citywide basis by company and union representatives. No
company may pay less than the rates set, although some
shops may pay higher rates through special collective
bargaining agreements.

- 20 2. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION BY SEX
Some typical jobs on which both men and women are employed and rates
for these jobs follow:

Job title

Approximate
number of
Men Women

Rates

87

Total
Assembler, light and benchwork ...

$0,925 - $1,125
1.125

56

16
5

19
7

4

15

40
1
15
6

6
3
5
1

Operator, punch press and light
1.125
Operator, drill press and milling
Assembler, condensers and other units

1.175
1.235 - 1.335
1.175
1.835

3. DEVELOPMENT OF EQUAL-PAY POLICY
In 1942 women were being paid between 42 and 55 cents per hour, and
menfs rates ranged from 52 cents to &1.26 per hour. Hen and women
on the same jobs were paid differential rates, with women receiving
5.1 to 24.0 cents less per hour for the same job. The following
table shows the jobs done by both men and women and the rate differentials in favor of men, in 1942:
Differential
Bench leader
Inspector, parts
Operator, light drill press
Shipping clerk
Solderer
As s embler, sub-as sembly
Inspector, final inspection

24.0
17.4
14.5
8.4
8.0
5.5
5.1

cents
cents
cents
cents
cents
cents
cents

The company and tinion agreed to have a job evaluation, but the company
wanted to continue the sex differentials in the rates to be set, on the
ground that the women's work was lighter. The union opposed this. The
case went to the War Labor Board, which ruled in favor of the single



- 21 rate scale, and women's rates were adjusted to bring them into line
with men's. Also, women now have the same seniority and advancement rights as men.

3
ON
Hi
Men

Job title

Operator, drill press
Inspector, parts ..........

CD

A comparison of the 1942 and 1951 rates for two jobs shows the elimination of the dual wage structure:

Women

$0.59
.649

$0.45
.465

1951 rate
Ken and women
$1,175
1.125

Group leaders are paid a specified amount in addition to the job
rate. In 1942 this amounted to 25 cents per hour for men and 10 to
15 cents for women. In 1951 it was 10 cents per hour both for men
and for women.
4. ADVANTAGES OF EQUAL PAY
The union considered the equal-pay policy desirable and successful.
Management felt that the equal-pay policy had helped morale in the
plant a great dealj there is less friction over rates, and relations
are more harmonious. Various factors, among them equal pay, have
contributed to a greater interest in the job on the part of women,
with a resulting increase in efficiency and a lower turnover.
Average seniority in the plant is 8 years, and women's turnover may
be somewhat lower than men's. Despite initial resistance, management now fully accepts the equal-pay policy and, as does the union,
considers it a success.

Case G
Industry:

Manufacturing-Aircraft.

Employment:

Approximately 13*000 employees, about 20 percent
women. Between 1,500 to 2,000 women production
workers, about 1,000 women clerical workers.

Union:

CIO.




- 22 1. PRESENT STATUS OF EQUAL PAT
State law: None
Union contract: "There shall be no discrimination against
employees in rates of pay by reason of sex."
Present wage and occupational structure: Job classifications are
based on a job evaluation plan. There is a rate range
for each labor grade. The union did not participate
in the job evaluation, but rated jobs separately,
using the same system, and its ratings and the company's
were compared. This same procedure has been followed
every time revisions have been made in the classifications. Sometimes the union has felt that jobs were
underrated and has asked for an upgrading, which the
company has agreed to in every case.
Following is a list of the current labor grades and the rate ranges:

Labor grade




1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
10c

Minimum rate

Maximum rate

$1.67
1.56
1.51
1.46
1.36
1.30
1.25
1.20
1.17
1.13
0.99

$1.98
1.88
1.83
1.69
1.59
1.54
1.49
1.44
1.41
1.29
1.16

Because of the tight labor market, the current actual
starting rate is $1.20 per hour. In-grade raises are
on a merit basis, with a quarterly review of each
employee's work by the foreman. The union is trying
to have this replaced by an automatic increase plan.
About 80 percent of the women are at the top of*their
labor grades.
There is a single seniority list for men and women;
this guarantees to women the same opportunity to
advance that men enjoy, subject to their own ability
to do more skilled jobs. Job specifications are in
terms of job content, not the worker's sex. A company
official said of this plan, "A foreman doesn't know,
when a new worker is being sent, to his department,

- 23 whether it will be a man or a woman. The only consideration is whether the person can do the job."
2. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION BY SEX
Both men and women are employed on a variety of jobs including
professional and technical jobs; clerical jobs; skilled, semiskilled,
and unskilled labor; maintenance; and cafeteria jobs. Some women are
employed in each of these categories in all but the very top levels.
They work as engineering aides and as engineers-in-training at salaries
as high as $450 or $500 a month. They work on both the unskilled and
some of the more skilled labor jobs, but the bulk are in labor grade
9, which includes women doing less skilled subassembly work. ^Currently, as a result of considerable new hiring, men also bulk in
labor grade 9. Normally, they would be more likely to cluster in
labor grade 7#) Burring, filing, riveting are among the jobs done
by large numbers of women.
One woman, a long-time employee of the company, is a turret lathe
operator in labor grade 4 earning $1.69 per hour; she does her own
set-ups. Four women in this same labor grade make plaster models,
and two women doing more s i 1 . d plaster model work are in labor
k.1e
grade 2 at $1.88 per hour. Both of these women are on the second
shift and so receive a differential of 15 percent, which brings their
hourly earnings to $2.16.
Despite a single seniority list and a nondiscrimination policy, women
are sometimes handicapped in this plant because of their lack of skill
or training in certain areas—such as blueprint reading. This is a
serious obstacle to advancement in a plant where much of the work is
precision work. Some of the women have never acquired this skill, and
others who were familiar with it but got out of practice in the postwar period when they left the aircraft industry have returned to the
plant and have failed to take refresher courses.
3. DEVELOPMENT OF EQUAL-PAY POLICY
Women have been employed by this company in a clerical capacity for
over 25 years, and they have been employed on production for 10
years at least, although no exact statistics were available on the
numbers of women employed or their tenure. The first women production workers were employed in the fabric shop on what were, in a
sense, "women1s jobs." These included such work as sewing the
fabric that covered certain airplane control surfaces—jobs that no
longer even exist. During World War II, women were employed throughout the plant on all kinds of jobs.
Management reported that this company has had an equal-pay policy
since women were first employed here. When the company signed an
agreement with the union in October 1943* the agreement contained




- 24 an equal-pay clause, which put into writing the equal-pay principle
that had always been followed in this plant. When a job evaluation
was made a -year or two later, a single schedule of rates for both
sexes was set. Equal pay has always been accepted by this company,
and no other wage plan has been considered.
4. ADVANTAGES OF E^UAL FAY
Both management and the union felt that there was no justification
for paying women lower rates than men for the same work. From the
union point of view, equal pay safeguards menfs rates from undercutting by cheap female labor. Management reported that equal pay
resulted in an absence of strife over men's and women's rates.
Management has found the policy satisfactory and has made no effort
to change it in the more than 25 years that this company has employed
women.

Case H
Industry;

Manufacturing - Precision instruments *

Employment:

6,915 plant employees, 14 percent women; and 4*680
salaried employees, 20 percent women.

Union:

CIO.

1. PH5SENT STATUS OF EQUAL PAY
State law:

Discrimination in rate of pay because of sex prohibited. Domestic and farm labor and non-profit
organizations exempt. Law adopted in 1944.

Union contract: "The Employer, either in hiring, promoting,
advancing, or assigning to jobs, or any other
term or condition of employment will not discriminate against any employee because of Union
membership or activity, sex, race, creed, color,
or religious belief."
"It is understood and agreed that female employees
shall receive pay equal to male employees where
work is equivalent."
Present wage and occupational structure: The company has job
classifications based on a job evaluation, and
there is a single rate schedule for men and
women. There is a single rate, not a rate range,
for each job. The worker comes in at a learner's
rate and after 60 days gets a 5-cent raise. After



- 25 6 months on the job, he is raised to the rate for the
job, and after that, raises are on a merit basis
only. There are 17 labor grades, and current rates
range from $1.31 for labor grade 1 to $2.26 for labor
grade 17J all rates are exclusive of an 8-cent costof-living allowance.
2. OCCUPATIONAL DISTRIBUTION BY SEX
Women are employed on a variety of jobsj among those on which there
are substantial numbers of men and women are the following:
inspection (women are mostly in assembly and electrical
inspection)
(men are mostly in parts inspection)
mechanical assemblers
spare-parts packers
electrical assemblers
coil winders (150 men; 336 women)
stator and armature winders
cable maker
calibrator
filing and burring
a few in machine shop (mostly profilers and millers)
glass machine operators
inspectors
testing
tube assembly
tube technicians
s^ver soldering
engineering
chemists
engineering aides
accounting
supervisors (no women foremen, however)
production control
punch press operators
On some of these jobs rates are quite high. Among these are cable
makers, who are paid $1.86 per hour, exclusive of the 8 cents per
hour cost-of-living allowance (all other rates quoted are also
exclusive of this allowance); filing and burring at $1.60 per hour;
glass machine operators at $1.65 per hour; assembly inspectors at
a maximum rate of $1.91 per hour; tube assembly at $1.65 per hour.
When asked whether there were any women foremen in the shop, the
company representative giving the information replied that there
were not. He added that there.had never been any women in this
position and that he did not believe that they would work out satisfactorily, because both men and women preferred to work for men



- 26 rather than for women*
Few women engineers have applied for jobs here, but those who have
been hired have been very satisfactory. The interviewee stated
that he did not believe many women were interested in engineering
or had the aptitude for it, but said that those who finished the
training and were hired did very good work.
3. DEVELOPMENT OF ECJJAL-PAY POLICT
In 1940 only about 200 women, not more than 7 percent of the total
work force, were employed by this fira. Most of them were considered
"unskilled repetitive workers." As en^loyment increased after the
beginning of the war, however, more women were hired.
When Women1 s Bureau representatives visited the plant in October 1941 >
the following schedule of rates was in effect:
Learners
3d class: unskilled .
.
2d class: semiskilled
1st class:skilled ....

45-80 cents
50-70 cents
75-90 cents
95 cents
and up

per
per
per
per

hour
hour
hour
hodr

At that time, all womer were classified as third class workers, at
a maximum rate of 70 cents; the average pay for all workers in the
plant was 76 cents.
By 1943, about 10,000 women—48 percent of all workers, as contrasted
with 7 percent in 1940—were employed, and some were doing more skilled
work. Nonetheless, most of them were still classed as "unskilled
repetive workers," at a top rate of 75 cents per hour. Some engravers,
at a top rate of 85 cents per hour, and some inspectors, maximum rate
95 cents per hour, were exceptions. These were class 2 jobs. Even
in the tool room women were not graded above class 2 and no women in
the plant were in class 1.
The union, which was certified as the bargaining agent in 1942, held
that the existing wage structure was irrational and that there were
inequities in classification. For 2 years, 1943 to 1945, a joint
committee of five union and five company representatives, together
with an industrial engineer as consultant, worked to develop a job
evaluation plan. When the job evaluation was completed, it was found
that many women who had been in class 3 had been doing semi-skilled
or even skilled work. The evaluation removed to a large extent the
paying of widely varying rates for similar work, and job content
became the determining factor in the classification of jobs and the
setting of rates for jobs. Fifteen labor grades were established
aid jobs held by women were classified in all but the two highest
grades. (Later, grades 16 and 17 were added to the classification
and rate ranges were eliminated.)




- 27 The table gives the rate schedule as established in 1945:
Rate Range
Minimum
Maximum

Labor Grade

$0.70

1
2
3
4
5

.74
.79
.83
.88

6

.92
.97
1.01

7
8
9

1.06

10

1.10

11

1.15

12

1.20

13
14
15

1.25
1.29
1.33

$0.80
.85
.90
.96
1.01
1.06
1.11
1.17
1.22
1.27
1.32
1.37
1.42
1.47
1.53

4. ADVANTAGES OF EQUAL PAY
Management now takes equal pay for granted and agrees with the
union that it has been satisfactory and successful. Management
has found that an equal-pay policy fosters better relationships
among employees and better morale, since "People feel disgruntled
if they are not paid equally for the same work." Also the equalpay system is easier to administer than a system of differentials.




GP0

83-18192

(V;B-52-237)


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102