Hodgson v. Robert Hall Clothes, Inc.: Concealed Sex Discrimination and the Equal Pay Act

1974 University of Pennsylvania law review  
HODGSON v. ROBERT HALL CLOTHES, INC.: CONCEALED SEX .DISCRIMINATION AND THE EQUAL PAY ACT The Equal Pay Act of 19631 is a broad, remedial amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act 2 intended to eliminate wage discrimination on the basis of sex. 3 It prohibits employers from remunerating male and female employees who perform substantially equal work at different rates, unless the employer can prove that the wage differential is based on a seniority system, a merit system, a system which measures
more » ... stem which measures quantity or quality of output, or the fourth exception, "any other factor other than sex." 4 Hodgson v. Robert Hall Clothes, Inc. 5 was an action brought under this Act in 1966 in which the Secretary of Labor asserted that the Robert Hall Store of Greenbank Road, Wilmington, Delaware, a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Hall Clothes, Inc., had been discriminating against saleswomen since June 13, 1964, by compensating them at a lower rate than salesmen even though saleswomen and salesmen were performing equal work. 6 The Greenbank Road store, which primarily sells fitted apparel, 7 is divided into two departments-one selling men's and boys' clothing; the other, women's and girls' clothing. 8 The merchandise sold in the men's department is generally more expensive and of better quality than that sold in the women's department. 9 As a result, the men's department has recorded a larger dollar 1 29 U.S.C. § 206(d) (1970). The Equal Pay Act states in part: (1) No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis on sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex .
doi:10.2307/3311420 fatcat:fhauup3lqjetfjqnxjdxqsznke