The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average lifetime wage gap for women is $420,000. Even in 2015, the average woman earns only about 78% of what the average man does, the Council of Economic Advisers reports. The challenge for some employers is devising comparable work scales. Remember the Columbia University class action suit in 1974 by women performing “light” cleaning (designated as maids) who were paid less than men performing “heavier” cleaning (designated as janitors). The court ruled that the duties were not “equal” under the Equal Pay Act (allowing the wage disparity to stand).
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