An appeals court ( Sprague v. Thorn Americas Inc., CA 10, No. 96-3021) ruled that the woman’s responsibilities were "comparable" to the mens’, but that they were not "substantially equal."
The court in this case said that "comparable" work is much different than the "same" work with respect to equal pay.
Generally, an employer should base their pay on skill level required, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. Gender cannot be a factor.
Source: You and the Law, National Institute of Business Management, 1750 Old Meadow Rd, Suite 302, McLean, VA 22102, November 1998. 800/543-2055. Cost: $187/year.