Letter - Today is Equal Pay Day

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Equal Pay Day is the symbolic day where women’s earnings finally catch up to men’s earnings for the previous year. The gender pay gap results in women receiving about 23 percent less in pay than men, and it takes women an extra three months of wages to make up that difference each year.

Equal Pay Day 2014 falls on April 8 in 2014.

Our country has made recent strides in attempting to remedy gender pay inequity.

On Jan. 29, 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law. Lilly worked for nearly two decades at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Gadsden, Ala.

Ledbetter made less money than her male coworkers with the exact same job. By the time she retired, Lilly lost more than $200,000 in salary, benefits and retirement savings due to gender pay discrimination. Lilly later filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was awarded back pay and other remedies in a jury trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court later reversed this decision, finding that Lilly did not bring her suit in time. In response, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law by President Obama as the first bill he signed after taking office. The act itself makes it easier for plaintiffs to bring a lawsuit on the basis of pay discrimination.

As a member of the American Association of University Women, we are thrilled that we were able to pass this legislation to reverse the 2007 Supreme Court decision that tried to rob women such as Lilly of their day in court to challenge unequal pay. But we need additional legislation to give employers and employees the tools to prevent wage discrimination in the first place — and we’ve been waiting too long for that.

The legislation designed to help ensure equal pay hasn’t been updated in 50 years, even though the work force has significantly changed since then.

That’s why Congress needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close loopholes that prevent the original legislation from fully addressing the pay gap.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would require employers to prove that pay disparity is based on a legitimate business reason not related to gender, or due to seniority, merit or productivity. It would also prohibit retaliation against workers who discuss or ask about salary information.

Lawmakers who do not actively support the Paycheck Fairness Act are denying women their economic security and simply refusing to acknowledge our state’s needs.

Mona J. Geidl

Public Policy Chairwoman

AAUW Walla Walla Chapter

Comments

namvet60 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It seems that the last two paragraphs says it all. Instead of more legislation and regulation why not just enforce the laws, legislation and regulation already on the books?

Will freedom survive?

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chicoli 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Namvet, Senate Republicans blocked a vote on Wednesday to open debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would hold employers more accountable for wage discrimination against women. The Senate voted 53 to 44 to move forward on the bill, falling short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Maybe you could help by calling your Republican senator and ask her to give us her vote the next time this comes for a vote.

Yes, freedom will survive!

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namvet60 8 months, 2 weeks ago

paco - let me help you understand

http://nypost.com/2014/04/08/meltdown-of-the-obama-genderhawks/

This should explain my first post that you didn't read correctly.

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downhillracer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

An opinion piece by Michelle Malkin, and you represent this as a source of factual information? Why am I not surprised.

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namvet60 8 months, 2 weeks ago

are you trying to be a troll or a cyberbully - your failure is evident with just unsubstantive comments!

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downhillracer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I was making a legitimate inquiry as to the bias of your source of information regarding a very serious topic.

Again, you demonstrate a classic example of psychological projection.

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namvet60 8 months, 2 weeks ago

It is your unsolicited gravitas that is very annoying. If you thought it was being in a bias mode is probably because it was. But trying to keep it civil: If you read my first post you would know that this being the opinion page that it was my opinion. Then paco answered with his liberal overtones of more legislation. That is why I countered with a conservative editorial as a response. So in the future try to keep up with the confab. Thanks

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downhillracer 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Now you are just going full-on psycho. You suggest that my opinion or commentary is only acceptable if "solicited", whereas yours must be accepted without rebuttal? Incredible, but not at all a surprise, given the source. "Gravitas"? Tip: context is important, as is the actual choice of words. You're welcome. ~Bill Anderson

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namvet60 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Quoted: "I have an opinion - I like my opinion and I can keep my opinion! Period."

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PearlY 8 months, 2 weeks ago

If every difference in pay between co-workers is presumptively grounds for a lawsuit, forcing employers to prove in court that it was NOT based on gender, most rational people would demand a considerably higher reward for investing in a business, since the risks would be higher. This necessarily reduces the capital available for economic growth. If women are in fact less privileged in the job market, lower economic growth will disproportionately harm them.

And frankly, though I'm a woman myself and have hired mostly women in my business life and paid good wages, I'd be less inclined to do so, not more so, when it subjects me to the risk that every single decision I might make about compensation, benefits or job conditions could be second-guessed in a lawsuit if some woman employee gets annoyed with me. Business decisions should not be subject to jury review unless there's some evidence to start with that there was discriminatory intent on the part of the employer.

This legislation is actually bad for women in the job market, but politicians no longer care about that.

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chicoli 8 months, 2 weeks ago

This legislation is good for women in that it will, not only level the salary plain field but the psychological one as well. The 100 cents on the dollar women will get, such cents will be churned back into the economy which in turn will benefit all of us as citizens.

Sorry for "Big Money" as they would have to pay a bit more to the ladies...well, I'm not really sorry for them!

One wonders why conservatives are repeatedly defending Big Money...as if they expect a quid pro quo in the whole affair?

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namvet60 8 months, 1 week ago

paco - you are not an authority on conservatism.

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