Published on April 8th, 20140
Misleading Paycheck Fairness Act
All Republicans support equal pay for equal work. And while we all know workplace discrimination still exists, we need real solutions that focus on job creation and opportunity for women. Not more regulations that cut flexibility and cut bonuses.
But on Tuesday, Democrats have said that they will be using “Equal Pay Day” to push their misleadingly named, “Paycheck Fairness Act.” These are the same Democrats who controlled the White House and Senate for the last five years but always seem to wait for an election year to push another empty promise.
The truth is the “Paycheck Fairness Act” is a desperate political ploy. And Democrats are cynically betting that Americans aren’t smart enough to know better. They’re forgetting the millions of women who belong to the Republican Party who will speak out. They’re missing the fathers, husbands, and sons who believe that women deserve real solutions.
The “Paycheck Fairness Act” doesn’t provide paycheck fairness for women. In fact, it will cut flexibility in the work place for working moms and end merit pay that rewards good work—the very things that are important to us.
First, it is already illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender. It’s been against the law to pay a woman less than a man with comparable experience in the same job since the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
The “fix” that Democrats propose, then, won’t change that. It would, however, tightly regulate how employers can pay their employees. This law will not create “equal” pay, but it will make it nearly impossible for employers to tie compensation to work quality, productivity and experience, reduce flexibility in the workplace, and make it far easier to file frivolous lawsuits that line the pockets of trial lawyers.
Ultimately, this bill will hurt all workers, especially women.
Democrats would respond to that by saying that women still make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. That statistic is misleading. And more importantly, the Democrats know it is because they only use it when it’s convenient to their talking points.
That number comes from the average earnings of women in all positions and contrasts it with the average earning of men in all positions. But women and men hold different jobs in different industries and varying levels of experience. (Interestingly, some estimates show that younger women actually out-earn younger men.)
There’s a disparity not because female engineers are making less than male engineers at the same company with comparable experience. The disparity exists because a female social worker makes less than a male engineer—just as a female engineer would out-earn a male social worker. The difference isn’t because of their genders; it’s because of their jobs. The “Paycheck Fairness Act” wouldn’t change that.
When you use the similar methodology to evaluate White House salaries, it turns out that the median pay for women in the Obama White House is 88 cents for every dollar a man makes. When presented with this information, the White House says it’s not a fair calculation. You have to compare people in equal positions, they say.
Exactly! But their “77 cents” statistic doesn’t do that. When you compare unequal work, of course you’ll come up with a statistic that shows unequal pay.
So, here’s the question for the White House and Democrats: why is the White House judged by one standard and the rest of the country by another?
Democrats have resorted to these misleading tactics because they don’t have other issues to run on. They have no credible ideas to ensure women have the opportunity to secure high-paying jobs, and the Democrat Senate has refused to pass any of the 40 jobs bills the Republican House has sent them.
ObamaCare is deeply unpopular, and they don’t want to talk about how policy cancellations are hurting women, or about how women are losing access to the doctors of their choice, or about how it’s meant smaller paychecks for working women (and men).
So instead they’re talking about the “Paycheck Fairness Act” using dishonest rhetoric and inaccurate math. It’s a political ploy designed to funnel money into the pockets of trial lawyers and to mislead the American people. But, of course, it wouldn’t be the first time Democrats have tried to sell a bill with deliberate lies.
About the Author: Kirsten Kukowski is the National Press Secretary for the Republican National Committee