PA lawmakers urge passage of pay-equity bills as Equal Pay Day nears

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Pay Gap Map

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s observance of Equal Pay Day, state lawmakers sponsoring bipartisan pay-equity bills today joined with advocates at the Capitol to call for action on the legislation.

 

“This year, April 8 will be Equal Pay Day because it takes the average Pennsylvania woman one year, three months and eight days to make as much as a man. More than half of the population is female – we are not a ‘special interest.’ Equal pay is an issue everyone in Harrisburg needs to take seriously,” said Rep. Erin Molchany, D-Allegheny.

 

Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., said: “Pay-equity laws have been around for 40 or more years, but Pennsylvania women on average make only 54 to 83 cents for every dollar men make, depending on which county they’re in. Clearly it’s time to strengthen and update the law to bring about real pay equity for the many working women in Pennsylvania who are still shortchanged.”

 

Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin/York, said: “Wage inequality and pay secrecy are not only a detriment to working women, but to families. When employers underpay equally qualified female employees, they shortchange our wives, our mothers and our daughters. Our legislation would help close loopholes and prevent this discriminatory practice to protect Pennsylvania workers and their families.”

 

The bills are H.B. 1890 and S.B. 1212. They would update the conditions under which employers could pay different wages because of a factor other than sex. These factors would include specific, job-related attributes such as education, training and experience. The bills would also strengthen anti-retaliation protections for employees attempting to bring a pay-equity lawsuit against their employer and those who share information about their pay.

 

Each bill is in the Labor and Industry Committee in its respective chamber.

 

The lawmakers were joined at today’s news conference by state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny; Deborah D. Vereen of Harrisburg, founder and principal, Vereen Group, which specializes in diversity and inclusion strategies; Betty Hooker of York, public policy co-chairwoman, American Association of University Women-Pennsylvania; Dr. Daria Crawley, associate professor of business administration, Robert Morris University; and Sue Frietsche, a senior staff attorney in the western Pennsylvania office of the Women’s Law Project.

 

The pay-equity bills are a part of a larger package of bills supported by the bipartisan, bicameral Women’s Health Caucus of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

4 comments

  • lazrus444

    Amazing! First the regulators what a higher minimum wage, now the regulators want to burden employers with higher wages based on sex. What next? Stay out of our business, stop spending more than you make and the employers will get along just fine without Government intervention. You have more than enough problems to solve without the burden of higher wages for untrained workers and making sure women get paid on the same scale as men. Get an education and you will be rewarded for your efforts.

  • Male Matters USA

    Here's what the Democrats don't want women to know:

    In general, women not only live longer and enjoy better health than men, who die sooner and at a higher rate of the 12 leading causes of death, they also control most of consumer spending and most of the nation's wealth. Soon they will control even more.

    "Over the next decade, women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion. Many Boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall, from both parents and husband." -http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women

    Sound like an oppressed group in need of yet another equal pay law?

    I suspect that many if not most of women's advocates think employers are greedy profiteers who'd hire only illegal immigrants for their lower labor cost if they could get away with it. Or who'd move their business to a cheap-labor country to save money. Or replace older workers with younger ones for the same reason. So why do these same advocates think employers would NOT hire only women if, as they say, employers DO get away with paying females at a lower rate than males for the same work?

    Here's one of countless examples showing that some of the most sophisticated women in the country choose to earn less while getting paid at the same rate as their male counterparts:

    “In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.” ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/03/26/bil10326.htm

    A thousand laws won't close that gap.

    In fact, no law yet has closed the gender wage gap — not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap – tinyurl.com/74cooen), not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not the 1991 Glass Ceiling Commission created by the Civil Rights Act, not the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, not diversity, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the thousands of company mentors for women, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is another feel-good bill that turned into another do-nothing law (political intentions disguised as good intentions do not necessarily make things better; sometimes they make things worse)…. Nor will a "paycheck fairness" law work.

    That's because women's pay-equity advocates, who always insist one more law is needed, continue to overlook the effects of female AND male behavior:

    Despite the 40-year-old demand for women's equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women," stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. "In the past few years,” he says in a CNN report at tinyurl.com/6reowj, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier….” at tinyurl.com/qqkaka. If indeed a higher percentage of women is staying at home, perhaps it's because feminists and the media have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs — so why bother working outside the home if they're going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman, as illustrated by such titles as this: "Gender wage gap sees women spend 7 weeks working for nothing" http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/cwgbaueysnsn

    As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Answer: Because they're supported by their husband, an “employer” who pays them to stay at home. (Far more wives are supported by a spouse than are husbands.)

    The implication of this is probably obvious to most 12-year-olds but seems incomprehensible to, or is wrongly dismissed as irrelevant by, feminists and the liberal media: If millions of wives are able to accept NO wages, millions of other wives, whose husbands' incomes vary, are more often able than husbands to:

    (cont'd)

  • Male Matters USA

    (Cont'd from above)

    -accept low wages
    -refuse overtime and promotions
    -choose jobs based on interest first, wages second — the reverse of what men tend to do (The most popular job for American women as of 2010 is still secretary/administrative assistant, which has been a top ten job for women for the last 50 years. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/gender-w
    -take more unpaid days off
    -avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining (tinyurl.com/3a5nlay)
    -work fewer hours than their male counterparts, or work less than full-time more often than their male counterparts (as in the above example regarding physicians)

    Any one of these job choices lowers women's median pay relative to men's. And when a wife makes one of the choices, her husband often must take up the slack, thereby increasing HIS pay.

    Women who make these choices are generally able to do so because they are supported — or, if unmarried, anticipate being supported — by a husband who feels pressured to earn more than if he'd chosen never to marry. (Married men earn more than single men, but even many men who shun marriage, unlike their female counterparts, feel their self worth is tied to their net worth.) This is how MEN help create the wage gap: as a group they tend more than women to pass up jobs that interest them for ones that pay well.

    "The more alarming wage gap might be the one between mothers and childless women: One recent paper (http://www.npr.org/2012/02/07/146522483/the-wage-gap-between-moms-other-working-women) found that women with kids make roughly 7 to 14 percent less than women without them." So why do organized feminists and the liberal media focus only on — and criticize — the wage gap between men and women? http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/

    More in "Does the Ledbetter Act Help Women?" at http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/wi

    See also:

    "Feminists don’t want you to know how women help create the wage gap: Women 'want rich husbands, not careers'" http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/wh

    Excerpt:

    “By the late 1990s, the proportion of women who were 'marrying up' had almost doubled to 38 percent. Similar patterns are seen across much of Europe, the US and Australia. Hakim said many women did not want to admit that they were looking for a higher earning partner. They even keep the fact secret from the men they are dating, Catherine Hakim said.”

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