Corning Glass

Please take a second look at the case of Corning Glass Works v. Brennan in the text. In that case, Corning operated its glass works only during the day, and all of the inspectors were women. In the late 1920’s, Corning decided to begin production at night as well. Because of state laws, women were not allowed to work at night. Accordingly, all the day inspectors were women, and all the night inspectors were men. However, the men demanded, and received, higher wages to do the same work at night.

As times changed, Pennsylvania and New York eliminated the laws prohibiting women from working at night. Men and women were allowed to apply for the night positions and were paid the same rate. However, in addition to new men and women night inspectors receiving the same pay rate, the new collective bargaining agreement between Corning and its employees established a higher pay for those employees working the night shift inspectors (men) who were hired before all these changes took place. The Secretary of Labor sued Corning saying it had violated the Equal pay act of 1966.The court sided with the Secretary of Labor.

How do you feel about the Court’s ruling in this case? Are the men who were hired BEFORE the law change in a different position than those hired after?