Comparable Worth — The Theory, Its Legal Foundation, and the Feasibility of Implementation

County of Washington v. Gunther was decided by the Supreme Court over five years ago. In that case, the Court, resolving a conflict among the circuits, ruled that sex-based wage discrimination claims could proceed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 without regard to the limiting “equal work” standard of the Equal Pay Act. Following this decision, it was generally assumed that the courts would become the major forum for redressing sex-based wage discrimination. The anticipated litigation explosion never took place. Few wage discrimination suits have been filed, and even fewer have been successful. What progress has been made has been through the legislatures and private negotiation.

The purpose of this Article is to set forth what the author believes to be a viable approach to wage discrimination suits involving dissimilar jobs.