Equal Pay for Equal Work

“Whether women earn 77 cents to the male dollar, as the Obama administration sticks to, or the figure is closer to Pew’s findings of 84 cents for most women and as high as 93 cents for younger women, it’s clear that the playing field is not equal. It’s also clear that disparities are indeed related to gender. Recent cases have shown that women who ask for pay increases often don’t get them. What they get instead: negative reactions. A 2007 study found that women who asked for raises were perceived as demanding. Men, meanwhile, faced no backlash. Women are also more likely to disrupt their careers to raise children or care for ill family members, and come back at a disadvantage.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peggy-drexler/equal-pay-for-equal-work_b_5151267.html

Several things could be done to help: Both men and women should be able to take family leave without retribution. All employees should be allowed to share salary information without punishment. Employers should be forbidden to punish those who ask for a raise, and in particular from treating one group of employees differently from another. And employers should not be allowed to demand information regarding one’s salary at a previous job, nor have salary guidelines which limit what can be paid based on your previous salary. That just perpetuates inequality. (There is a Fair Paycheck Act now in Congress, being blocked by Republicans: https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/84.)