The next step for fair pay

Tuesday morning I met with a woman I know from the National Women’s Law Center press shop and I told her that it’s very tempting to just blog on their work every day. I get a lot of good shit from them. She, of course, didn’t see the problem. (To which I say: put me on the payroll! I’m kidding, but I’m not.)

The Paycheck Fairness Act was originally bundled with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act when it was moving through Congress last year. This year the Ledbetter bill was passed on its own and signed by Obama on January 29. Yay, but we’re not quite done.

More from the NWLC:

While the Ledbetter law preserves the right to seek legal redress, the Paycheck Fairness Act would provide the tools necessary to give new teeth to equal pay laws, and provide incentives for businesses to follow the law in the first place.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would deter wage discrimination by strengthening penalties for equal pay violations, closing loopholes that courts have opened in the four decades that the Equal Pay Act has been the law,¬†and prohibiting retaliation against workers who ask about employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages. In short, the bill gives women critical tools they need to fight pay discrimination in the 21st century.

NWLC has a petition on their website, urging the Senate to support the Paycheck Fairness Act, and more on the whole fair pay campaign. What’s nice is, unlike years past, this bill actually has a snowball’s chance of passage and could actually get signed. It’s refreshing.

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5 comments for “The next step for fair pay

  1. March 5, 2009 at 9:22 am

    This is so important! So many employers have rules about discussion pay and asking about pay. At my last job I did the research on their pay scale for the position I was seeking, asking an equal number of men and women what they made b/f I even interviewed. When they tried to hire me at $.50/hour less than what I had learned was starting, I pointed it out. My new boss first acted as though she had made a mistake (“I’m not exactly sure what the starting pay is, but I’ll look into it”), and then told me that I was not allowed to ask those kinds of questions.

    I never understood how we were supposed to ensure that we were being paid fairly if we had no way of comparing our pay.

    Thanks for posting this, Rachel!

  2. March 5, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Here’s a radical idea: mandate pay transparency. What if all salaries, bonuses and benefits were transparent? Sure, there may be people at the bottom of the scale who would feel umcomfortable, but mostly I think the better paid people would feel uncomfortable justifying the disparity.

  3. Kristen J.
    March 5, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Even this is not a sufficient solution! The Wall Street Journal had an article on this issue a few weeks ago. Even IF a plaintiff has a claim, the federal judiciary is very hostile to discrimination claims.

    Which makes this recent Republican strategy very, very, very dangerous. The Republicans want Obama to appoint Bush’s judges!!! (PDF).

    Which, for me…is not just a NO, but HELL NO.

  4. Laurie in Mpls.
    March 5, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I’ve never understood NOT being transparent about pay scales. But then again, I’ve never been in the top job. ;)

  5. corwin
    March 5, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Even people who are extremely bright are often at sea with predictions.But here are a couple.
    1)The DJI is lower at 2,3,4 and 5 months into this administration.Many actual producers think ofPres Obama as over his head with making actual decisions of consequence.
    2)There will be no movement on “fair pay” whatever that means.Diffidently,
    I point out there is no way to place the term’fair’ into symbolic logic.Making folks who are counted on to accomplish things even more nervous about your thought process is self defeating.ANd I’dl9ike the readers to ponder some points
    If the market underpays women ,why woulda corporation hire a man for the same job?
    COuld the term ‘fair’ be substituted with the term “above what the market values”.Seriously.Think and reply.
    And I’m not here to trumpet unpleasant thoughts to you folks.

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