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View Diary: House passes fair pay bill (Updated) (195 comments)

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  •  so why is it that women still (2+ / 0-)
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    melpomene1, Casual Wednesday

    get paid 70c on the dollar compared to men. Was it illegal when Gore and Kerry ran for president? They both ran on making pay discrimination illegal and this was way before Ledbetter's case. I have the sense that something of substance is still lacking because why do companies still risk breaking the law, if it's already illegal (no over site maybe, what?). This legislation only banks on you finding out. If you never find out that you've been cheated they get away with it, and worse yet no recourse if not discovered 6 months after you leave or is fired.

    May the Schwartz be with you!

    by FLS on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 03:23:26 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Good points (4+ / 0-)
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      AntKat, Neon Mama, kyril, Shhs

      We're definitely not at the point of full equality. Lilly Ledbetter is at least a step in the right direction and should help in enforcing the existing laws.

      It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.

      by Casual Wednesday on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 03:30:42 PM PST

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      •  I found this which (3+ / 0-)
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        kyril, SciVo, Casual Wednesday

        I think will be more substantial and have a greater impact.

        Paycheck Fairness Act
        To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.

        Paycheck Fairness Act - Amends the portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) known as the Equal Pay Act to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages. Revises the exception to... moreSee Full Bill Text

        Rep. Rosa DeLauro [D, CT-3]
        and 198 Co-Sponsors
        This bill has no amendments.

        Bill Status
        Make a Bill Status
        Introduced       Voted on by House         Voted on by Senate                                      
        January 06, 2009   January 09, 2009                  ?

        May the Schwartz be with you!

        by FLS on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:20:43 PM PST

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        •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
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          kyril, Casual Wednesday

          The Paycheck Fairness Act was passed in the House with a special rule that made it an amendment to the Lily Ledbetter one, or maybe the other way around, I don't remember. Anyway, my interpretation is that it was designed to get both through the Senate with a single vote, because of the ease of obstructionism in that body. Unfortunately, it didn't work that way; the Senate passed the simpler version and the House went with it to avoid obstructionism there. I'm sure that the House will pass it again, and it'll get another chance in the Senate, but as a separate bill this time.

    •  Like it or not, that 77 cents/1 dollar isn't (3+ / 0-)
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      Davidsfr, kyril, SciVo

      neccesarily pay least not the kind that is illegal.

      While sometimes clear pay discrimination does exist, there are other factors that come into that statistic which doesn't compare equal jobs.

      Some of this pay disparity boil down to choices, which are difficult to call discrimination (if a woman took 5 years off to raise kids, I would expect men of the same age - who have 5 years more experience - to then be making more, and I wouldn't personally consider that discrimination of any kind). Also, the matter of field choice--for example, my university has a massive engineering department and they have engineering scholarships specifically for women that a few years ago would go unclaimed because not enough women apply. Now, that's not the case, but the ratio is still around 9:1 for males:females in the program. Things like affect pay disparity in ways that can never really be addressed with legal recourse, nor should they neccesarily.

      Of course, a lot of it comes down to more hidden discrimination; you can never directly prove why one person is hired or promoted over another. It takes a lot to prove a case of discrimination unless you have two people in relatively equal positions making unequal pay.

      •  Exactly! Why am I the first to recommend this? (1+ / 0-)
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        Warren Farrell or Herb Goldberg, can't remember which, pointed out that when you compared men and women who worked in the same jobs for the same period of time for at least 10 years with no periods of leave of at least 6 months, then men and women earned almost the same. This was in the early to mid 90s, so it is probably even more true now.

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        A lot of women choose to work in professions that involve helping people, which is profoundly wonderful for our society, but unfortunately the jobs women do in those fields don't have an immediate money-making impact so their contributions are undervalued. It's more a systemic issue of undervaluing certain kinds of work - work with children, the sick, the elderly, the poor, the environment - than it is any sort of discrimination on an individual basis (although that does certainly still happen).

        Math Kos runs Saturdays at midday-ish.

        by kyril on Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 09:24:42 PM PST

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        •  More women work with the enviornment than men? (0+ / 0-)

          That one confused me. I would guess both that (1) working with the enviornment - in actual science positions - would be lucrative and (2) most enviormental scientists were men.

          Unless you mean people working specifically with nonprofits? But they generally make peanuts across the board. I work with an educational nonprofit and make less than half of what I used to make in sales/marketing, but so does my boss, and he's male and never made any money.

          You're right that several predominantly female jobs are less well-paid than other predominantly male jobs, but there are underpaid predominantly male jobs as well---I mean I think what we pay firefighters and police officers is every bit as ridiculous as what we pay teachers, but I understand why all three positions are underpaid. It has nothing to do with gender and much to do with the fact that they're paid with taxpayer money (and don't get to vote themselves raises).

          Jobs in science and healthcare help mankind and seem to pay well, so I'm not sure I can fully invest in your thesis. Nurses (RNs) seem to make a good living lately, and that's a predominantly female career. True, they make less than engineers, but who doesn't?

          I'd reckon the greatest wage disparity societal issue comes from big business asshole CEOs, but I see that as much more than just a gender issue.

    •  Because of the jobs they do and (1+ / 0-)
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      the fact that they are far more likely to leave the workforce for prolonged periods of time.

      See my post below for more details.

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