Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Comparable Work

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Comparable Work

Article excerpt

Cases dealing with equal pay for comparable work should be decided on the basis of substantive job content, according to a ruling handed down late last year by the highest court in Massachusetts. Finding that a trial judge did not examine job content carefully enough, the Massachusetts court overturned a $1 million award to female cafeteria workers in a public school who had been paid half as much as custodians in the school system. The case, Jancey v. School Committee of Everett,(7) was the first to come to court under the State's 1945 comparable-pay law.

Cafeteria workers at Everett schools sued in 1989, alleging pay discrimination because the workers, who were women, were paid $6.44 to $6.85 an hour, whereas custodians doing comparable work earned an hourly wage from $10.76 to $12.73. The lower state court awarded the 41 female workers $325,000 in lost wages, $325,000 in damages, and an additional $380,000 in interest and attorneys' fees.

The Massachusetts high court barred the lower court's award, finding that the trial judge's analysis was flawed. In ruling for the cafeteria workers, Judge Gordon L. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.