Resolution Opposing Comparable Worth Legislation Exposed

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The Resolution Opposing Comparable Worth Legislation was adopted by ALEC's Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force at the Annual Meeting on August 12, 1999, approved by the ALEC Board of Directors in September, 1999. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

ALEC Resolution Text


This resolution opposes legislation that would empower the government to require that men and women receive the same pay for different jobs, whose value would be determined by government. Comparable worth legislation often includes punitive damages that incite litigation and drive up costs, which ultimately destroys job opportunities for those it purports to help.

Model Resolution

WHEREAS, WE HEREBY AFFIRM OUR SUPPORT FOR EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK, which has been the law of the land for over 35 years and which remedies deviations from the beneficial free market principle that men and women who perform the same job are entitled to the same pay; and

WHEREAS, WE HEREBY OPPOSE COMPARABLE WORTH, MAQUERADING AS “PAY CHECK FAIRNESS” OR “PAY EQUITY,” which would empower the government to require that men and women receive the same pay for different jobs, whose value would be determined not by the free market but by government; and

WHEREAS, Equal Pay for Equal Work is a hallmark of today’s workplace, as evidenced by credible studies confirming that when wage disparities between men and women are properly controlled for tenure, education, and experience, that there is near parity between genders in today’s workforce; and

WHEREAS, Comparable Worth legislation has now been proposed in the United States Congress and in numerous state legislatures to undermine the subtle and complex, but irreplaceably valuable free market pricing mechanism with government rules that would politicize private pay practices; and

WHEREAS, a government mandate such as Comparable Worth that artificially drives up the costs of engaging in economic activity invariably constricts job creation and growth, thereby causing economic harm to the intended beneficiaries of such a mandate and to the communities in which they live; and

WHEREAS, such Comparable Worth legislation also would inject punitive damages into the dispute resolution process thereby inciting litigation and its attendant transactional costs, further constricting economic growth and job opportunity;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the State/Commonwealth of (insert jurisdiction) affirms that Comparable Worth/Punitive Damages Legislation represents a serious economic threat to all employees and employers whose welfare depends on the prosperity that our free enterprise system affords, and that it presents a unique and pernicious attack on the ability of our citizens to be free from arbitrary and capricious government intrusion.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Clerk (of the House or Senate) transmit copies of this Resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States and to each member of Congress of the United States.

Adopted by the CIED Task Force at the Annual Meeting August 12, 1999.

Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors September 1999.