Today the Senate’s
supposed to could have voted on the Paycheck Fairness Act. But the Republicans stopped that from happening.
Carol Rose and Deborah J. Vagins provided a nice summary of what the Act
actually would do would have done:
The Paycheck Fairness Act would give employees the legal tools they need to finally close the wage gap by, for example, requiring employers to demonstrate that wage differences between men and women doing the same work have a business justification; prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about their wages; and leveling the playing field by ensuring that women can obtain the same remedies as those subject to employment discrimination based on their race or national origin. The bill would also provide technical assistance to employers and provide important safeguards for small businesses.
But opponents trotted out all kinds of fake reasons why it shouldn’t pass. And not all of these pro-unfair wage-ists were men! June E. O’Neill of Baruch College and the American Enterprise Institute (yay free markets) said there’s no wage gap anymore, that ladies are just always having kids and taking off all the time to go breast-feeding at Dunkin’ Donuts and cause trouble, and that’s why men earn more–because they have to work more, to support our Coolatta and motherhood addictions. Oh, and also maybe there’s also a “justified differential in pay based on merit” (?).
“Some firms undoubtedly discriminate against women, but their number is small and the federal government’s existing antidiscrimination apparatus is more than adequate,” O’Neill put at the end of her dumb column, without showing any proof that discrimination is so rare. Maybe it’s because it’s not rare at all? Go look at any media entity’s masthead, corporation’s “about us/leadership” page, or maybe even your own office, and do some counting. Or read this.
Besides O’Neill’s frustratingly delusional depiction of the way things are, the caption of the accompanying photo refers to the photo subject as “a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. worker.” That’s not just any worker–it’s Lilly Ledbetter, as in “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.” Apparently, the WSJ either can’t figure out who she is, or doesn’t want to tell people who she is, or don’t care.
FYI, there is still no June E. O’Neill Unfair Pay Act on the books. But maybe there will be, when the Republicans take back control of Congress in a few weeks.