Entries in income parity (1)


Senate Democrats Push for ‘Paycheck Fairness’ Bill for Women

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Democrats and the White House put on a coordinated full-court press on Monday, calling on Republicans in the Senate to support a bill called the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” which is billed as an effort to help achieve income parity for women.

The Senate is scheduled to hold a procedural cloture vote on the bill Tuesday, even though it is not expected to get the 60 votes needed to move forward in the Senate without Republican support.

Democrats describe the paycheck fairness bill as “the next step” to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – the first thing President Obama signed into law in 2009. This new bill is meant to bring that law up to date by finalizing and closing loopholes that some say keep women earning less than men for the same work.

“American women are mad as hell,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D- MD., sponsor of the bill, said Monday on a conference call, noting that women still make 77 cents for every dollar that men make for the same job requiring the same set of education. That data comes from a study of 2010 government statistics by a group called the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The bill will most certainly become an issue for talking points, campaign ads, and election-year messaging which may be part of the Democratic calculus for moving toward the bill now as a narrative in the so-called “war on women.”

Democrats wasted no time to frame Tuesday’s vote in the context of presidential politics, challenging Gov. Mitt Romney to support the measure.

“We urge him to speak out and endorse this legislation ahead of the Senate vote,” Sen. Chuck Schumer. D-NY., said of Romney.

“Today he has refused to take a position on this important proposal. Well the silence is hurting our chances of advancing this legislation in the Senate. Because if he, as the standard-bearer of his party were to endorse this legislation, it would almost certainly cause the Republicans in the Senate to follow his lead and join Democrats to endorse this key reform.”

Discrimination on the basis of sex is already against the law but the Paycheck Fairness Act would require employers to demonstrate that wage gaps between men and women doing the same work have a business justification and are truly a result of factors other than gender. The bill would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio