Equal Pay — 1919

Chapter 264

“3090.      Equal pay for women for equivalent service.”

+++++“It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, state, county, municipal, or school district, public or private corporation, to employ any woman or women in any occupation or calling within the state of Montana for salaries, wages, or compensation which are less than that paid to men for equivalent service or for the same amount or class of work, or labor in the same industry, school, establishment, office, or place of any kind or description.”

“History:   En. Sec. 1, Ch. 147, L. 1919; re-en. Sec. 3090, R.C.M. 1921″

+++++“Movements for equal pay, led by women’s associations and labor unions, began over a century ago. The earliest equal pay laws in the U.S. were passed in Montana and Michigan in 1919.”  www.pay-equity.org/info-racebrief.html

+++++“As early as 1923 equal pay was required in the federal civil service, but the federal government did not mandate it for the private sector until passage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act. First proposed in 1868 at the National Labor Union Convention, equal pay for equal work did not become a national issue until World War I. During the war women held jobs previously held by men, creating concern that they would depress the wage rates and men would be forced to work at the lower rates after the war.  Montana and Michigan enacted the first state equal pay laws in 1919, but it was not until after World War II that a major bill covering 61 percent of the labor force was placed before Congress, and another fifteen years before it was passed.” Cynthia Harrison, On Account of Sex: The Politics of Women’s Issues, 1945-1968 (1988)

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