It's hard to believe that in 2012, Americans are still facing inequality between the sexes when it comes to the workplace. But even at this late date, women still make seventy-seven cents for every dollar men make, and not only is that discrimination, some say--it's bad for the economy.
President Obama is pushing for the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill which would ensure equal pay for everyone which has garnered a lot of attention from all sides of the political spectrum over the years. Senator Patty Murray of Washington is in full support of the bill, summing up what it means to her in just two sentences:
"The paycheck fairness act is not just about women, and it is not just about fairness. It is about the economy."
Obama has been in support of equal pay previously in his term, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, which loosened the rules regarding a worker filing a lawsuit regarding unfair wages. Ledbetter herself is expected to speak in front of the Senate about the new bill, bringing her own experience to the floor; in the late '80s she discovered she had been paid significantly less than her male co-workers during her former employment with Goodyear Tire Company and filed suit, only to be told she had passed the statute of limitations for such a suit. Her namesake act states that the deadline is extended when an employer violates the law with a discrimination of some kind.
The discrepancy between men and women's pay has narrowed over the decades since Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, but in the past sixteen years it has only closed the gap by about four cents. This bill hopes to close that gap for good, making it impossible for employers to assign different wages to an employee unless they can prove the decision is based on education or qualifications.
Women lose an average of $400,000+ over their lifetimes bc of the wage gap. We need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
@BarackObama pays his female staffers nearly 20% less than their male counterparts.