Walcott's Case Review: The Equal Pay Act In America

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In June 2016, an employee of a restaurant called Pizza Studio in Kansas City, Kansas, asked why she was earning twenty-five cents less than her friend, a male coworker. Seventeen-year-old Jensen Walcott discussed her $8-per-hour salary with Jake Reed, who earned $8.25 per hour, before speaking with a manager. The manager, citing company policy, fired her. Though the restaurant eventually fired the manager and apologized, Walcott’s story caught the eye of local and national media. She and Reed became the focus of policy arguments during the 2016 presidential election, with then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton reached out to Walcott through social media to support Walcott’s actions. The pair was invited to speak at the July’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Walcott and Reed’s story draws attention to Kansas’s current pay equity statute, which has fallen behind the trend of state legislation that is creating a new frontier for
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Title VII does provide, however, that demonstrating that a business necessity was the driving factor behind an employment practice does not constitute an affirmative defense against such a

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