Because March is Women’s History Month, it is time to remember some of the milestones in the ongoing fight for equal rights and equal pay.
A recent newspaper article recounted some of landmarks, including two pieces of legislation that we have written about a number of times here on our Milwaukee employment law blog: the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act and 1993’s historic Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The laws provide critical workplace protections for women who become pregnant and for new mothers.
The article about milestones in women’s financial history also pointed out that women didn’t even have a legal right to equal pay until the 1963 passage of The Equal Pay Act, which aimed to eliminate wage disparity based on gender. Of course, we have all read of studies that show that a gender wage gap persists to this day.
Another milestone noted in the article: the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) of 1974. Until it was made into law, banks and other lenders could require of women information that men did not have to supply in order to get loans or credit cards. The ECOA banned discrimination in lending based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age and marital status.
The article also mentions the impact of the 19th century Gold Rush on women’s financial lives and rights. The Homestead Act of 1862 enabled unmarried women to claim land for themselves; at the time, a novel idea.
America has come a long way in the years since the passages of these laws, but unfortunately, discrimination on the basis of gender still lives on and violations of FMLA rights are still too common.
If you have had your FMLA or your Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act rights denied by an employer, you can contact the law offices of Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c. to fight for your rights and your family.