At issue is the Paycheck Fairness Act, which has already been rejected by the Senate two times. But as they say, a third time is a charm, so why not try pushing it through the Senate once more, right? Before you continue to read this blog, bare in mind that I am not one of those overpayed, over privileged, white males that the left often complains about. While anybody’s take on this issue is as valid as mine, I feel particularly qualified to speak since the Paycheck Fairness Act is ostensibly designed to help my gender.
There are a myriad of things wrong with it, not the least of which it is based on the fallacy that women doing the same job are paid
much less than men. The most reported statistic on this is 2008 Census data citing that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. But several studies find that the wage gap narrows significantly when considering personal career choices made by women, such as the decision to work part-time or to take a lower-risk job.
False premise aside, consider the bill itself. It would allow workers to share salary information among themselves without being punished by employers through lawsuits or termination. Fair enough. But the Paycheck Fairness Act also amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which already prohibits sex discrimination in pay based on factors other than a seniority system, merit system or pay based on quality and quantity of production. The PFA goes further by requiring employers to prove they are not discriminating in paying their employees for any reasons based on sex. For some employers, the risk of liability will not be worth hiring. Consequently, the Paycheck Fairness Act could:
- Create a culture of reluctance to hire anybody who is viewed as a potential litigant under the Paycheck Fairness Act (i.e. women).
- Create a disincentive for employers to reward employees who produce more or produce better than others in the same job capacity.
- Create a culture of victimhood as women are perceived as weak and helpless beings who need the long arm of government and the threat of legal action to protect them.
There have been countless times in history when women have rightfully fought for common-sense laws that put them on a level playing field with men and help to promote their worth and capabilities in society. But in 2013, in a world where most women are still treated like property, the
Paycheck Fairness Act is simply a measure to win political points in reponse to a manufactured problem.