Proposed law lets you peek at colleagues' paychecks
The Paycheck Fairness Act is designed to create equal compensation for men and women, but has far greater potential.
Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced legislation last week that would not only require require employers to prove that differences in pay among workers are unrelated to gender or any other qualities unrelated to their employment, but keep companies from punishing workers who discuss salary information.
The proposed Paycheck Fairness Act was presented as an equal rights issue by Mikulski on the Senate floor Wednesday, but its passage would have implications far greater than shattering glass ceilings.
While the Paycheck Fairness Act is viewed as a logical extension of the Lilly Ledbetter Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009 to combat pay discrimination, it's also an endorsement of an open pay model that levels the playing field for employees by making payroll decisions public. That would affect everyone involved, including the folks doling out the checks.
Sure, the act would let women find out if their male colleagues make more than they do, but it would also give everybody else some idea of how they're faring in the rat race. According to the Wall Street Journal, startup company SumAll took some stress off of its employees by adopting an open pay system. Namaste Solar, meanwhile, told Business Insider that the open model increases pressure on companies to justify pay raises for specific employees.
Open pay has been a subject of debate since at least the mid-1980s, when University of Texas at El Paso professor William H. Muhs noted that 60% of employers favored keeping payrolls secret. As he discovered, that secrecy tends to make employees think the pay system is unfair whether it is or not. Unfortunately, it's also the stucco that masks intrinsic flaws in the employee evaluation process.
Those flaws are exactly what troubled Mikulski and DeLauro into drafting their legislation in the first place. A 2011 study from the Institute For Women's Policy research found that women, on average, make 82% of what their male counterparts make. At the same time, nearly half are either not allowed or are strongly discouraged by their employers from discussing pay information with coworkers.
While the Paycheck Fairness Act may not bring immediate pay equality, it's a big step toward keeping the workplace honest.
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I work at a job have been for 15yrs whenever my boss hires any one new, fresh graduates or experienced they get started at the same salary I am presently making. I have not had a raise in 3 years and the last raises I have had were usually 3% ----to cover the cost of insurance increase(s)
In my department there are 15 employees all doing the same job. I am 3rd from the top on seniority, newest employee has been with us 3 yrs.,black, single mom of 1, in late 20's and graduated 5 yrs. ago.
I was a stay at home of 4, now 32, 28, 26 and 25 the best years of my life! All college graduates one with a masters , another teaching in public school and working on her masters
My husband worked for insurance, we did then and we do now are a farm family.
Both my husband and I are college graduates. I knew I would be returning to the workplace, but in my field and in my area jobs were not abundant.
I don't believe you should HAVE to "ask" or to "negotiate" for a pay raise it should be the EMPLOYER/OWNER/BOARD OF DIRECTORS responsibitly based on job performance, cost of living, dedication, responsibitly, apptitude, if they have furthered their education, temperment, expectations location of job. Not sure how I feel about being nickel and dimed to death on raises, but sometimes something is better than nothing! I love my job and what I do.
Hey isWalmartblahblahblah. Why don't you put a cigar in that pie-hole and change your fatigues, they probably need it.
Keep you in the dark keeps you low paid.
Imbeciles oppose this legislation.
When employees know what other employees are paid it makes for an effective bargaining chip for YOU when you ask for a pay raise. This legislation is long overdue and very necessary for protecting our middle class from Republican Fascism which seeks to KILL America's middle class with wage-busting and job outsourcing etc.
Imbeciles oppose this legislation at the peril of their own livelihoods.
Communist China has spent the past 32 years bailing out American Capitalism.
American capitalism is so weak that it has been dependent on China for funding for the past 32 years, to the tune of about $16 Trillion in debt. Chinese Communism can fund its own massive government as well as funding America's massive 'defense' budget.
Rethug Ronald Ray-gun made America dependent on Chinese Communist cash.
Democrat Bill Clinton broke the addiction/dependency by balancing our budgets, creating surpluses, and paying down our national debt. Then we elected another Ray-gun Rethug, the idiot Bush, in 2000 and again in '04.
Bush Republicanism re-addicted America to Chinese Commy cash and once agaiun proved that capitalism is a weakness and Communism is much stronger.
Strong enough to fund China and America.
America dies without this Chinese cash lifeline created by Ray-gun/Bush/Republican fiscally reckless policy.
Thank Communism. Without it America dies.
It's the strongest indictment against the weakness of capitalism.
Capitalism has damned America to death.
Fascists HATE Socialists.
I'm a socialist.
Obama is NO WHERE near a Socialist. I can make a strong case for Obama being a Republican-lite capitalist far better than you can make a case for calling him Socialist.
Obama is not a Socialist. Not even close.
I wish he were.
Women and people of color are paid far less than white males.
Any company that pays its white male workers more than its non-white male workers deserves to be sued back to the stone age. Its company leaders should also be locked up in prison for a very long time.
I can't think of more necessary legislation than this Paycheck Fairness Act. Long overdue.
ALL employers need to be transparent with their payroll policies. The history in America of paying non-whites and women far less than white males mandates the need for passage of said law.
America also needs to incriminate the practice of paying non-whites and women less and throw the Fascists that practice pay discrimination in jail.
Take a look at your finances and then understand that the general rule of thumb is that it only takes 10% more to go first-class. We sold our souls to China for 10%.
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