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Women Do Earn Equal Pay

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 5
3/8/2013


By Taylor Ramsey

It seems to me that the only legislation coming from the Democratic side of government is purely “feel good” legislation leading to absolutely nothing. Take for example Senate bill S. 84: Paycheck Fairness Act introduced by U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski that has 41 co-sponsors who include California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. This waste-of-time bill is meant to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, “in order to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wagers on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.”

Section 2 (2) of this new bill states, “women continue to earn significantly lower pay than men for equal work” and it further states that the “disparities can only be due to continued intentional discrimination or lingering effects of past discrimination.” I believe that if that is the case, authorities should use the power of the original bill of 1938 and throw those discriminators in jail. Why do we need another bill?

I do understand there may be instances of discrimination by foolish employers, but in general I do not see a need for another bill to address what is already law. Is this law being proposed to continue the manufactured “Republican War on Women” rhetoric President Obama started in his last campaign for president? I believe it follows a pattern.

I just do not see it. I have worked for quite a few companies and individuals and I have never seen a woman receive less pay than a man for doing the same work with the same responsibilities. I have seen both women and men earn more than their counterparts due to working harder and contributing more to the bottom line.

The last report by the Census Bureau indicated women made 77 cents for every dollar earned by a male in 2008 and that statistic is referred to on a regular basis by supporters of this new bill.

Sounds bad. However, any rational person would look deeper to determine what that bit of information actually represents. At least you would think the president and his followers would want to present the truth regarding the background on that number, but they don’t because the facts would not support their effort to deceive.

Think about it ... businesses exist to produce a needed and desired product for consumers in order to earn a profit. If the numbers above were correct, then would the United States employment rate not reflect 100% employment for women and pretty much close to zero percent employment rates for men? An employer would be nuts to pay a man a dollar if he could get away with paying a woman 77 cents.

In general, it is a fact that more women than men take time to stay at home to care for children. If a woman is taking care of children at home, then she is not in the workplace gaining experience or going to school to receive more education.

Again, in general, men are not interrupting their careers and education and therefore their experience is leading to higher paying jobs. Employers can’t be blamed for personal decisions workers make to take themselves out of the marketplace or assume lower paying part-time jobs in order to take on the difficult and demanding task of caring for a family at home.

Those, whether men or women, who complete their education or remain employed on a full-time basis to obtain experience and showcase their work will receive the promotions and higher pay schedules.

If an employer is discriminating we already have laws to address it. Workers of any gender are earning equal pay for equal work thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Senators, please bring some clarity to your statements and stop the deception to earn votes. I hope the voters take the time to look deeper than what is presented in sound-bites by any political candidate before making decisions.

Bill S. 84: Paycheck Fairness Act is not needed and it is a shameless prank to deceive and divide us again.

taylor@longbeachcomber.com