Monday, June 3, 2013

June 3: Corning Glass Works vs. Brennan

On this date in History ... June 3, 1974:

The Supreme Court rules in Corning Glass Works vs. Brennan

Corning’s inspectors during the day shift were women but the company wanted to start a night shift inspector position. At the time, NY and PA law prohibited women from working nights. Since the inspector position had traditionally been held by women, men viewed it as “women’s work” and refused to take the night job. Corning argued that ‘market forces’ required them to pay men more to get them to take what they viewed as inferior (women’s) work. 

Corning tried to defend its pay policy by claiming it was a shift differential pay.  But they still only hired men for the night shift, denying women the opportunity for the higher pay.

The Court rejected the argument, recognizing that the company was still paying men and women different wages for the same work, illegal under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and that just because men wouldn’t work for “women’s pay”, didn’t mean it was ok to pay men more for the same job.

Sources for this article include The U.S. Supreme Court Center, i.e. 


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