Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Equal Pay Act of 2014?

51 years ago, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed and passed by President John f. Kennedy. In part, the law states: 

"No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section [section 206 of title 29 of the United States Code] shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs..."

If this United states Federal Law states that employers can't discriminate wages based on the sex of the employee, then why does such a dramatic gender pay gap still exist in the US today?

Gender gap infographic

In the US alone, a woman working a similar, if not the same, job as a man will only be paid around 66% of what a man is paid. This hurts our nations because single-mom households are being cheated out of deserved paid that is needed to support a family. The Gender Pay gap is especially dangerous because the race of the woman is also a secret factor of how much she gets paid. According to aauw.org, Hispanic women only make 54% of white men's earnings. ("White men are used as a benchmark because they make up the largest demographic in the labor force"). I think this is terrible because some women need to support a family and/or themselves. Some women need to pay off student loans or debt. Just because someone is a different gender, doesn't mean they deserve to be discriminated against in the work place. 

A solution to this problem, we can pass an act banning federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their salaries or ask about pay. This would empower women to negotiate higher wages with confidence. Higher wages that women obviously need. Wages that have been withheld from them for (more than) 51 years. 

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