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Backing Paycheck Fairness Act to End Wage Gap, Ocasio-Cortez Says Time to Pay Women 'What They Are Worth'


Backing Paycheck Fairness Act to End Wage Gap, Ocasio-Cortez Says Time to Pay Women 'What They Are Worth'

Julia Conley, staff writer

Joining several House colleagues in introducing the Paycheck Fairness Act to combat gender and racial wage disparities on Wednesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) offered a challenge to employers and right-wingers who deny the existence of unfair pay gaps: "prove it."



The best way to achieve equal pay is to join a Union.

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…and to make it illegal to engage in race and gender wage discrimination.



By all means. I’m just saying that people don’t need to wait for wage equality to become law, they can have it now.



Friends, leaving out salary history is an invitation to chaos. We’ve always paid people (women and men) on their successive accomplishments, seniority and contribution. People who have spent years out of the labor force, by definition, don’t have the experience that those who didn’t leave have. Women’s lower aggregate earnings are due to women’s choices to spend time outside the work force, or work part-time, often supported by her husband. Just saying.
This is widely known and easily verified.
By taking out the value of consistent full time work, which women do less of, you devalue that work.
And just one detail I saw in the article. Women starting out in their careers don’t earn less than men. That’s cumulative.



Paying people what they are worth sounds wonderful. This bill does not do that. It replaces one horrid inequity with another.

a) Removing salary history from an employer’s decision process is unacceptable. If two people have worked 15 years in the same career, and one has excelled, they will be making more money (hopefully), and they will, and SHOULD be able to use that as a bargaining chip when they go to a new job. It’s not enough to have references and a good resume proving that you did a good job at your last employer. A high salary speaks volumes to how much your previous employers really thought you were worth. NO WAY should this fact be removed from the new employer’s decision making process about how much you should be paid.

b) I’m dreadfully wary of the carefully-worded language about “sharing” your current salary at the workplace. Nobody ever told me that I couldn’t tell other employees how much I make. I keep that information private because I CHOOSE to. Does this new bill now allow any employee to find out how much the other workers are their job are making so they can use this to argue for a raise with their boss? That’s outrageous.

So I don’t see the point of this second provision. Either it allows me to tell other people what I make, which is pointless because I could always have done that, or it FORCES my employer to tell my coworkers what I make, which is an utter invasion of my privacy.

And let’s talk about that wage gap. I have read and reread the supporting studies and angry articles about how there is a wage gap and anyone who denies it is akin to a “flat earther”. Women do more commonly work fewer hours than men, especially after having children. In fact, wage-gap supporting studies even emphasize that after having children, the male of a couple often works more, and that this is another form of discrimination because women are primary child-rearers. That is true, and it may be unfair. But diverts from the point. These studies go on to explain that if you examine the HOURLY wage only, women are being paid less. i.e. This eliminates the variability of more women working part time.

Yes, it removes that variability. But there is more to the story. I have worked at companies where women work part time while their children are young. There is more to job performance than just the sheer number of hours you work. An employee who is always there, and is there full-time and it available to work extra hours when needed IS MORE VALUABLE than an employee who can only work part time. Ask any employer and they will tell you this, and it has nothing to do with being male or female. Somebody who is “always on the job” has more experience, is always around in a pinch, and in general is a more productive worker. They should therefore be paid more, PER HOUR, than a part timer. It’s not sex discrimination. It’s actual job performance and work productivity. I will never forget a woman at work telling me, “I’m not here a full 40 hour week, but when I’m here, I’m here 100%” - trying to justify why she should be paid as much per hour as a full-time worker.

NO… A thousand times no. Somebody who comes and goes for shorter shifts, on fewer days, does not have their head in the job as thoroughly as a full-time worker.

Yep. Equal pay for equal work. Let’s start by properly defining “equal work” and let’s make sure we don’t trample privacy rights in our zeal to guarantee that equality.