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It's been a slow day of blogging and I had a busy day at work.  But I figured I'd end the day with this:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on Tuesday inquired how the Paycheck Fairness Act makes sure that men are not paid less than women, according to the Huffington Post.

"Take me through exactly what would have to happen, with a specific example of a man and woman, where a man is being paid less than the woman," Alexander said to attorney Camille Olson during a Senate hearing on the bill. "Because this law is not just about women — it's about men and women."

Olson, who was testifying on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said that the bill provides the same protections to men as it does to women. - TPM, 4/1/14

Olson of course explained this:

UNITED STATES - JULY 9: Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., speaks to the media about student loans after the Senate policy luncheons on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Olson said the Paycheck Fairness Act gives the same protections to both sexes. "An employer would have to show that the woman was being paid more because of a factor other than sex, such as a qualification, advanced degree, or more experience," she told Alexander.

But men, typically, are not being paid less than women. Women who work full time in the U.S. make an average of 77 cents for every dollar men make. Researchers who have taken into account factors that may contribute to that gap, including industry, education, college major and location, still find men's pay 7 percent higher than women's, according to the American Association of University Women. The gap widens over the course of a woman's career, especially if she has a higher education degree.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the existing Equal Pay Act by requiring employers to show a legitimate reason for wage differentials among employees in the same job, such as education, job performance or experience. The act also would prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who share salary information with each other and would help women receive compensatory and punitive damages from employers when they successfully challenge pay discrimination in court. - Huffington Post, 4/1/14

One has to wonder if Alexander was just asking this stupid question as an April Fools joke.  I doubt it.

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 10:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Three Star Kossacks, and This Week in the War on Women.

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