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J-Law and the ‘Hustle’ for Equal Pay
11/23/2015
By: Boyd Byers

The final installment of The Hunger Games movie franchise opened this past weekend. And star Jennifer Lawrence (affectionately known to her fans as J-Law) is saturating the media.

But last month J-Law made headlines for another reason: her essay about gender pay inequity. In her rant, J-Law addressed revelations from the Sony Pictures Entertainment data hack that she and Amy Adams were paid less than their male co-stars in American Hustle. When she found out about the pay difference she wasn’t mad at Sony, she was mad at herself, she wrote.
 
“I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over [the money].” A need “to be liked” and fear of appearing “difficult” kept her from demanding more money, she said. And, “based on the statistics, I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue.”
 
Does J-Law know what she’s talking about? The data and the law seem to back her up.
 
Research studies suggest that on average women are less likely than men to negotiate for more pay; and, when they do, they are less likely to be successful and more likely to face backlash. Employers need to be aware of this dynamic, because it can unwittingly lead to pay disparities that expose them to low morale, talent flight, and legal challenges.  
 
The Equal Pay Act prohibits sex-based wage disparity for equal work at the same establishment. The jobs do not have to be identical, but they must be substantially equal in terms of skill, effort,      Continue Reading...
 
Miss Utah and the Equal Pay Act
08/21/2013
By: Boyd Byers

She didn’t win the crown, but Miss Utah made the most news after the Miss USA pageant this summer. Her bungled response to a question about the gender pay gap went viral and was seen by millions on the Internet. But it also generated serious discussion about equal pay.   

'Create education better'

The question: “A recent report shows that in 40 percent of families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?”
 
Miss Utah’s answer: “I think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to … [long pause] figure out how to create jobs right now—that is the biggest problem. And, I think, especially the men are, um, seen as the leaders of this and so we need to figure out how to create education better so that we can solve this problem.” Cringe.
 
Predictably, Miss Utah’s epic fail lit up the twitterverse and blogosphere. But she got a chance at Web redemption on the “Today” show a few days later. She told host Matt Lauer that the question was “confusing” to her. So he gave her a do-over. Her new (scripted and rehearsed) answer was far better: “So this is not okay, it needs to be equal pay for equal work, and it's hard enough already to earn a living and it shouldn't be harder just because you're a woman."
 
Miss Utah’s question was prompted by the 50th anniversary of the Equal      Continue Reading...
 
DOL Creates 100-Year Anniversary Video
11/07/2012
By: Boyd Byers

In honor of America's centennial, France gave us a gift: the Statue of Liberty. In recognition of its own centennial, the United States Department of Labor has given all of you a gift: a YouTube video chronicling its history. The six-minute-long video describes DOL's creation, introduces the labor secretaries, summarizes its legislative history, and promotes the things it does for workers. But be forewarned: the video is a slide slow, not a live-action film, and DOL tells the story to serve its own interests.  Watch the Video

 
Holy Act of Congress! Batgirl Demands Equal Pay
03/26/2012
By: Boyd Byers

Here’s a unique footnote in employment law and superhero history.  In 1972 the U.S. Department of Labor developed a public service announcement to promote the Equal Pay Act featuring characters from the campy Batman TV show.  In the PSA Batman and Robin are tied up next to a ticking bomb in an abandoned warehouse.  Batgirl swoops in just in the nick of time.  But she leaves the Dynamic Duo hanging, questioning Batman why she’s paid less than Robin.  “Holy discontent!” exclaims Robin.  To which Batgirl retorts, “Same job, same employer, means equal pay for men and women.”  Is it curtains for the Caped Crusaders?  Will Batgirl get equal pay?  Click here to watch the video.  

 


Authors
Don Berner Image
Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
Boyd Byers Image
Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
Jason Lacey Image
Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
Additional Sources
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Subscribe to Kansas Legislative Insights Image