Among other protections, the bill would require that employers prove potential wage differences between men and women are job-related and driven by a business necessity and would protect workers from retaliation if they share salary information with colleagues.
The U.S. Census found that women who worked full-time, year-round on average still made 23 cents less for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Of course the wage gap for women of color was even more staggering than for women overall: when Black and Hispanic women work full-time, year-round, they only make 62 and 53 cents, respectively, for every dollar their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts earn.
Mothers are especially hard-hit by the wage gap.
Wage gap is read, not theory
There’s even more evidence that the wage gap is real. A recent study found that with identical resumes and job experiences, mothers were offered $11,000 lower starting salaries than non-mothers. Fathers, on the other hand, were offered $6,000 more in starting salaries than non-fathers. Another study found that women without children make 90 cents to a man’s dollar, mothers make 73 cents to a man’s dollar, and single moms make only about 60 cents to a man’s dollar.
Senate Republicans have made it clear they will vote against the bill while congressional Republicans in general are doing all they can to prevent the issue from advancing.
The vote will undoubtedly place Mitt Romney in the awkward spot of having to articulate a clear platform when it comes to equal pay laws. He’s gone on record as both supporting the idea of equal pay in theory while campaigning against the Lilly Ledbetter Act.
Equal pay for equal work is critical to ensuring our families’ economic security and for recognizing the full economic value women add to this country. No wonder Republicans are united against it.
Photo from tenaciousme via flickr.