Corning Glass Works V Brennan Summary

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Corning Glass Works v. Brennan Corning Glass Works v. Brennan, 417 U.S. 188 (1974) was a gender equality case brought before the Supreme Court on March 25, 1974 ( It was based on whether or not Corning Glass Works violated the Equal Pay Act by paying its male night shift workers substantially higher wages than its female day shift workers. I found this case interesting because gender equality and the right to equal pay is still an important issue in the business world today. In recent years, the income disparity between men and women has gained more attention, causing researchers to study why it exists. There has also been a push in politics to update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act. Although recent attempts by the federal government,…show more content…
Corning Glass Works had previously only operated during the day, but due to an automatic production advancement after 1925, decided to expand its operating hours through the night. Due to the fact that at this point in time state laws made it illegal for women to work at night, Corning was forced to hire male workers to work the night shift. The men who worked the night shift benefited greatly by receiving not only a substantially higher wage rate than the female day shift workers who performed the same work, but also an additional night shift allowance (ERT Case Summary: Corning Glass Works v Brennan Secretary of Labor). In 1953, the states repealed their laws forbidding women from working at night. However, Corning chose not to employ women at night until 1966 (Baird). When Corning finally began to employ several women at night, to do the exact same work as the men, they did so at a much lower wage rate. In January 1969 Corning partook in a “job evaluation system” that made every new workers’ wage rate equal. However, they continued to pay a higher “red circle” rate to male nightshift workers who were employed before the job evaluation system came into effect, making male and female workers’ wages anything but equal…show more content…
The year the Equal Pay Act was passed into law (1963) the wage gap between a man and women working full time was 41 cents with women making 59 cents for every dollar a man earned. Since then, the income disparity has decreased by almost 50 percent. In 2014, the wage gap was 21 cents with women making 79 cents for every dollar a man earned (The Wage Gap Over Time). This 20 cent decrease in the wage gap since 1963 shows how significant of a difference the Equal Pay Act and its enforcement through Corning Glass Works v Brennan, along with other court cases, have been. The current 21 cent wage gap today shows that the issue of unequal pay based on sex still exists, and that more needs to be done to close this gap. Multiple studies have been done to figure out the root of why the wage gap exists and what can be done to fix it. Many believe the Equal Pay Act is not strong enough and more action needs to be taken at the federal level to close the gap. Moreover, many states, such as California, have taken it upon themselves to enact laws that will attempt to close the wage gap between men and women once and for

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