Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Equal Pay Day!

This is what an ally looks like:

Obama Signs Measures to Help Close Gender Gap in Pay

          President Obama signs two executive orders aimed at narrowing the gender pay gap

Tomorrow the Senate votes (again) on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which essentially does two things: it would make it illegal for companies to retaliate against employees for talking with co-workers about their salaries, and it would also require the EEOC to gather information about pay and demographics of employees. 

The first part of the act is necessary because many companies forbid employees from discussing salary, and you can't know you're being short-changed if you don't know how your compensation compares to that of your fellow employees. The second provision is to bring hiring discrepancies to the attention of employers, giving them a chance to redress inequalities on their own, and to give employees access to information to challenge discriminatory practices if companies don't do it themselves.

You know who is for the Paycheck Fairness Act? Fair-minded people everywhere. You know who is against it? The G.O.P.:

Paycheck Fairness Act has already failed twice. Will the third time be the charm?

. . .                      
What do Republicans think of this bill?
Not much. The bill has no Republican co-sponsors, and they blocked it from going forward when it came up for a vote in 2012. Republican women, perhaps a natural place to look for support, voted with their party. Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Act in 2009, were no votes in 2012.
The GOP, which released a memo Monday, cites increased lawsuits as a possible result of the legislation. Republicans also say discrimination based on sex is already illegal, so this bill is just piling on. Some conservatives and Republicans have also been questioning how big the pay gap actually is.  
What war on women?

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