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Comparable Worth

Comparable worth is the concept by which women who are usually paid less than men can claim that men in comparable rather than in strictly equal jobs are paid more.

It refers to the requirement to pay men and women equal wages for jobs that are of comparable value to the employer. Thus, comparable worth may mean comparing quite dissimilar jobs, such as nurses to truck mechanics or secretaries to technicians. The question “comparable worth” seeks to address is this: Should you pay women who are performing jobs equal to men’s or just comparable to men’s the same as men”? If it’s only for equal jobs, then the tendency may be to limit women’s pay to that of the other, lower-paid jobs in which women tend to predominate.


Comparable worth is the concept of equal pay for jobs that require similar levels of skills, training, and experience.

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