Have you heard? Today Democrats are expected to bring the Paycheck Fairness Act before the Senate floor, but it is expected to fail. Why you ask? Well according to reports, Republicans see it as merely a political move to embarrass the party and further paint the picture that they are against women’s interests.
What I don’t understand is why is there opposition to this political issue. After all, studies have proven that women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. And for a black woman like myself, who is thankful to God that I’m self-employed, it’s 69 cents! With African-American women being the largest demographic who are the head of their household at 27.5 compared to other groups (7.8 for Asian women and 9.0 for Caucasian women), this pay discrimination creates a spiral effect and ultimately dictates where a family lives, what type of healthy foods and grocery stores are within reach, the quality of education their children will receive and whether or not they will have access to quality health care.
Critics of the bill, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and numerous trade and business associations released a statement, saying it would result in “unprecedented government control over how employees are paid at even the nation’s smallest employers.”
Doing what’s right is now considered government control? Give me a break! I know first hand the frustration of trying to convince an employer that you deserve more pay for the work that’s being rendered. At one employer, I even purchased an industry-standard study that broke down what people in my field within my geographic area and my years of experience made (which was nearly $20,000 more); I was literally blown off. I was enraged and determined that I would do whatever it took to break out on my own.
The goal of this bill is to help women better negotiate pay, give incentives to employers who follow the law and prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who inquire about their wages. You can get more detailed information here.
When I bravely stepped into the CEO’s office asking for equal pay many years ago, I wish I had a law like the Paycheck Fairness Act to back me up.
What YOU Can Do
The Senate is expected to vote on this measure at 2:15 pm EST today. So call them at 888.876.9527 to pledge your support for this act. Call now!