published Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Blocking fair pay for women

When Congress adopted the Lilly Ledbetter law in 2009 requiring pay parity for women in jobs where women do the same work as men, the goal of wage fairness finally seemed possible. But it hasn't happened yet. Women are still paid about 77 cents for every dollar men make for doing the same work. And on Tuesday, 46 Republicans in the U.S. Senate -- including Tennessee's Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander -- again voted in lock-step to block a proposed law that would have granted women the right to ask about pay parity on their jobs without the fear of retaliation or being fired.

The 2009 Ledbetter law, named for the Alabama tire plant worker who worked for decades doing the same job as her male peers without knowing that they were being paid considerably more, didn't include the legal trigger that would let women safely ask how their pay compared with that of men in similar jobs. The Paycheck Fairness Act that Republicans blocked Tuesday is designed to close that loophole.

It aims to give women a secure right to ask and know if their pay is on par with men by barring employers from threatening or taking retaliatory measures against women for seeking pay parity or wage-related information. To ensure those rights, it would have opened the way for women to sue employers for punitive damages for paycheck discrimination.

That's what should happen. Senate Republicans, however, just can't get over the business lobbying effort to thwart women's right to fair pay. And under the rules of the Senate requiring a filibuster-proof 60-vote margin to open debate on such bill, Republicans' 47 votes (one Republican abstained) against the bill negated the majority 52 votes by Democrats and two Independents to open the bill for a vote on adoption. The Republicans' vote Tuesday repeated what happened in 2010, when Democrats first sought to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Corker and Alexander, and their counterparts in Georgia and Alabama, should have to explain to voters when they come home why they object to ensuring women's rights to pay parity. Surely some Republican senators have daughters, nieces and cousins in the American workforce whose economic future is on the line. Why would they contest such core civil rights for women, who comprise more than half of their constituencies?

Republicans' anti-women position, of course, has become thematic for their party. Their appalling current crusade against women's rights generally in this election season has made that clear. At both the state and federal level, Republicans regularly seek to tighten strictures or eliminate measures intended to safeguard or improve women's reproductive rights and preventive care needs.

At both levels, GOP lawmakers constantly attempt to dismantle efforts by local clinics and Planned Parenthood to provide needed routine services that have nothing to do with abortion. For example, they would eliminate vital cervical and breast cancer screenings, pap smears and contraceptive aid for women who can't afford comprehensive personal insurance. Even Mitt Romney has jumped on this witless bandwagon, opposing so-called morning-after pills as "abortion pills" to appease anti-contraceptive extremists. We wonder how they will deal with the latest scientific findings showing that such pills help the body avoid fertilization of eggs, rather than destroying eggs after they're fertilized.

The irony of such thinking, in any case, is stunning. Republicans rant for all rights to eggs and fetuses, but oppose fair civil rights to those born as females who grow into jobs and deserve fair pay and fair health care services. Such warped thinking shouldn't be lost on women voters.

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Easy123 said...

I can't wait to see what Republicans say to this.

June 9, 2012 at 12:23 a.m.
Easy123 said...

I should also say what a well written and insightful editorial this is. The TFP needs more like this.

June 9, 2012 at 12:41 a.m.
conservative said...

Lieberals are forever hypocrites (liars, and Socialists also).

"Senate Democrats pay female staffers less than male staffers"

"A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called “gender pay gap,” urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month. However, a substantial gender pay gap exists in their own offices, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of Senate salary data reveals.

Of the five senators who participated in Wednesday’s press conference—Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)—three pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers."

June 9, 2012 at 9:09 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Once again, you're an idiot.

Address this article. I dare you. Defend your Republican sweethearts, Conservative.

June 9, 2012 at 10:13 a.m.
conservative said...

If you think Lieberal women are not liars and hypocrites on "their idea" of equal pay for women then think again.

"Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a “war a women,” is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 33.8 percent."

June 9, 2012 at 10:26 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Address the article. I dare you. COWARD. Defend your Republican cronies.

Also, you don't understand the concept. All positions don't pay the same. You and your Republican propaganda don't understand that "IDEA". This bill is about women getting paid less for the SAME WORK.

Why did your Republican lovers vote against this bill?

June 9, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.
conservative said...

The hypocricy of Lieberals is stunning:

A significant “gender gap” exists in Feinstein’s office, where women also made about $21,000 less than men in 2011, but the percentage difference—41 percent—was even higher than Murray’s.

June 9, 2012 at 10:58 a.m.
Easy123 said...

What a fantastic lack of response and blatant misuse of information.

You have no argument and you are showing your cowardice.

June 9, 2012 at 11:13 a.m.
conservative said...

Lest you think just the Lieberal Demoncrat women were Hypocrites. Yes, there is "Hypocrite Parity" in the Demoncrat party :

The employee gender pay gap among Senate Democrats was not limited to Murray, Boxer, and Feinstein. Of the 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus examined in the analysis, 37 senators paid their female staffers less than male staffers.

June 9, 2012 at 3:55 p.m.
Easy123 said...

What a fantastic lack of response and blatant misuse of information.

You have no argument and you are showing your cowardice and ignorance.

June 9, 2012 at 4:24 p.m.
conservative said...

Somebody call a trial lawyer!

"Women working for Senate Democrats in 2011 pulled in an average salary of $60,877. Men made about $6,500 more."

June 9, 2012 at 5:12 p.m.
Easy123 said...

What a fantastic lack of response and blatant misuse of information.

You have no argument and you are showing your cowardice and ignorance.

June 9, 2012 at 5:15 p.m.
conservative said...

Now everyone knows that Socialists are for parity and equality, but let's see if avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders he is also a hypocrite

Sen. Sanders, who is an avowed socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, has the worst gender gap by far. He employed more men (14) than women (10), and his chief of staff is male. Like many of his fellow partisans, he has previously accused Republicans of “trying to roll back the clock on women’s rights.”

June 9, 2012 at 6:01 p.m.
Easy123 said...

What a fantastic lack of response and blatant misuse of information.

You have no argument and you are showing your cowardice and ignorance.

I think, at this point, anyone that is reading this can assume that you are insane.

June 9, 2012 at 6:33 p.m.

Playing games with statistics is the Republican way.

They don't know honest math if it bites them.

June 9, 2012 at 6:44 p.m.
conservative said...

Demoncrat Sen. Chucky Schumer wiil knock you down getting to a camera. No hurry though to tell America about his pay disparity:

The pay differential is quite striking in some cases, especially among leading Democrats. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who runs the Senate Democratic messaging operation, paid men $19,454 more on average, a 36 percent difference.

June 9, 2012 at 7:02 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Officially insane.

June 9, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.

That's a disservice to the genuinely ill.

June 9, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.
Easy123 said...

True. Conservative is consciously ignorant.

June 9, 2012 at 8:19 p.m.
joneses said...

The only woman Pelosi will stand up for is herself as she will not hold the dummycrtas accountable either. I am sure you libtards are proud of this bitch.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday condemned companies that pay women less than men, but was unwilling to condemn Senate Democrats who pay their female staffers less than male staffers, saying that the Senate is “another world.” Speaking in Washington, D.C., Pelosi reminded everyone that there shouldn’t be income disparity between men and women. “It’s 2012. It’s 2012, everybody. What is it we’re talking about women getting paid less? Are you going home to your little girls each day and saying: ‘Work hard, study hard, be diligent so that when you grow up you can make less than your brother?” She added, “There seems to be a decision somewhere in some companies and parts of our economy that that’s an okay thing to do.” The Daily Caller asked Pelosi about a report in the Washington Free Beacon that revealed that women working for Senate Democrats in 2011 had an average salary of $60,877, whereas male staffers made about $6,500 more. Pelosi chose not to condemn the Democratic senators, claiming that it is “another world.” “When I was speaker, I was [the] highest paid person on Capitol Hill and the women took great joy in that,” she said, making an apparent defense of the current pay disparity.

June 10, 2012 at 7:37 a.m.
joneses said...

This is as sorry of an excuse for journalism I have ever seen. The author did not ask any Republicans why they voted against this bill but is making his own biased assumption that Republicans hate women. What good would it do for the Republicans to hate women? If this incompetent journalist had any professionalism he would have asked Senator Alexander and Corker why they voted against this bill before he started lying to the women and others through this article. The reason this sorry excuse for a journalist did not ask the Alexander and Corker why they voted against this bill is he might have to write something that proves he is a liar. Do the libtard/dummycrats really think women are so stupid they cannot see through this? Women are much smarter than you chauvinist libtard/dummycrats give them credit for.

June 10, 2012 at 7:50 a.m.
joneses said...

Look on the bright side, David Axelrod. This Beacon story might finally distract people from that instantly infamous photo of the all-white staff at Hopenchange HQ.

Why does our president hate women?

Female employees in the Obama White House make considerably less than their male colleagues, records show.

According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).

The Obama campaign on Wednesday lashed out at presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney for his failure to immediately endorse the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, a controversial law enacted in 2009 that made it easier to file discrimination lawsuits…

It is not known whether any female employees at the White House have filed lawsuits under the Ledbetter Act.

Follow the link for Beacon reporter Andrew Stiles having fun revisiting The One’s various other slights to women over the years, from his all-male golf outings to former communications director Anita Dunn describing attitudes in the White House as fitting “all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.” Some of the things O’s taken heat for in this vein are overblown — this one pops to mind — but I’m keen to hear them explain why there’s an income disparity among their own staff. In some industries there may be a nondiscriminatory reason for a gender gap in pay, e.g., men may be overrepresented in jobs that require lots of strength or dangerous duties, which in turn may pay better because of the risk. But that’s surely not the case in the cubicle utopia of the West Wing. The most obvious explanation in an office setting is that men tend to earn more because there are more of them in senior positions. Is that true, champ? If so, how come?

June 10, 2012 at 7:55 a.m.
Easy123 said...

You and Conservative must have eaten the same paint chips when you were children.

June 10, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.

This is not just a Democrat or Republican issue, it is not even just an American issue. The facts are that women are paid less than men for doing the same job just about everywhere around the world and everyone should be in favor of correcting this.

June 10, 2012 at 12:57 p.m.

Well, what Joneses will never admit is that every White House employee has the same pay regardless of gender based on their job position.

Or is Joneses claiming that President Obama should hire equal numbers of each gender?

June 10, 2012 at 1:40 p.m.
prairie_dog said...

As a federal government employee, I work for a woman (who got her job through affirmative action in response to an EEO lawsuit) who makes $20,000-$25,000 a year more than I do, and I have a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in applied mathematics. I have a "positive educational requirement" which includes course work in calculus and statistics. My boss cannot read e-mail. She has no college degree at all, except the one she got for "life experience" from Upper Iowa State University (I think they still advertise on match books).

Other women who make exactly the same pay as me cannot make a graph using Excel. They are perplexed by Algebra, and come to my group for help doing simple arithmetic.

So tell me, don't you think the issue cuts both ways? Seems that way where I work -- and it's the same throughout the federal government.

June 10, 2012 at 3:25 p.m.

What, you think we're not aware that there are some women who get paid more than some men?

Even taking you story at face value, you've produced one sample.

Now how many others can you produce?

June 10, 2012 at 3:28 p.m.
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