This is a doctrine that states that jobs have an inherent value. As such, men and women who perform jobs of the same inherent value should be similarly compensated. Before disparate treatment of protected classes became an issue, this term was used for both external competitive comparisons and for internal equity decisions. Today comparable worth focuses special attention on pay practices that may match the market or perpetuate past internal practices, but still create or perpetuate discrimination in the treatment of those holding female-dominated jobs whose content is similar but not equal to that of male-dominated jobs. Comparable worth means that women should be paid the same as men, excepting allowable differences (i.e. seniority plans, merit plans, production-based pay plans, or different establishments or locations).

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