Ending the Wage Gap
“The increase in inequality in income is a longtime trend, but pressure on middle and low income workers is going up rapidly. Especially if they live in an area where there are high housing and gas prices, like California”
— Alice Rivlin
Though the wage gap in the United States has not had any significant change, there have been many proposed solutions to end it.
The Equal Pay Act is a United States labor law, mainly aimed at ending the wage gap. The Equal Pay Act was signed into law by John F. Kennedy on June 10th, 1963 as a part of his new frontier program. The law basically talks about how sex discrimination depresses wages and living standards for employees necessary for their efficiency and health, prevents the maximum utilization of the available labor resources, causes labor disputes, burdens the free flow of goods in commerce and constitutes an unfair method of competition. The law also explains that no employer should discriminate his/her employees.
“Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”
— Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Equal Pay Act states that all employees, both men and women should be given an equal amount of pay for equal amount of work done in an establishment. The jobs don’t have to be the exact same but they must be fairly similar. This law doesn’t completely abolish gaps in pay. Pay gaps are acceptable under certain circumstances other than gender, race, etc. Such circumstances include quality and quantity of work, seniority, merit, etc.
Though it may not seem like it, women have indeed made remarkable, economic progress within the past 50 years. It is stated that women only made 60 cents to every dollar of male earnings in the 1980's. Studies show that American women have been stepping up in both educational attainment and into higher paying jobs in the last three decades. As of 2015, the gap is known to be at its narrowest but surprisingly not the worst. The wage gap in the
I personally believe that ending this wage gap will be a huge step in ending discrimination all together. A huge way to discriminate against someone’s race or gender is to not give one group the same equalities as the other. This wage gap needs to end in order to prevent much worse outcomes such as strikes, protests, riots, etc.
“The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by — let alone get ahead”
President Barack Obama, State of the Union
President Barack Obama has been very persistent on ending this wage gap in the United States. Earlier this year in January, President Obama revealed new rules that would make companies with more than 100 workers provide annual data to the federal government for how much they pay employees based on race, ethnicity and gender.
“What kind of example does paying women less set for our sons and daughters?”
— Barack Obama, President of the United States
Along with President Barack Obama, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been involved and voiced her opinions about ending the wage gap and why it needs to happen.
“Women are pursuing careers in numbers comparable with men; it is passed time that we finish the work of making those career paths truly equitable.”
— Barack Obama, President of the United States
From this information, we can pretty much tell that the democratic party is really trying to end this wage gap, but what about the republican party? In 2014, republican senators blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The Paycheck Fairness Act called for greater salary transparency. The Paycheck Fairness acts would also have required employers to be able to prove that wage differences were based on factors other than gender. The Paycheck Fairness Act will help end this wage gap by securing equal amounts of pay for equal amounts of work for all United States citizens regardless of a persons gender and race. This bill would update the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (which I talked about earlier in this article) as this law was not able to fulfill its promises to end this major wage gap in the United States. The reason for this was due to inadequate remedies and limited enforcement tools. The Payback Fairness Act listed a number of rules to the law. The Payback Farness Act would require employers to demonstrate that wage differentials are based on many other factors other than gender. These acts also completely prohibit retaliation against the workers that inquire about the wage practices of their employers’. These acts would permit any responsible comparisons between employees within clearly descriptive geographical areas to determine fair wage. They would try to strengthen penalties for equal pay violations. They would get the Department of Labor involved to help in assisting employers and collect all data that is related to wage in any way and authorize any extra training for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions staff to better spot out and handle wage disagreements.
The Paycheck Fairness Act sounds pretty good in my opinion, but unfortunately, many people think otherwise. As of 2014, the Paycheck Fairness Act has been put into play several times but unfortunately ended up failing twice in a row. During this time, the Paycheck Fairness Act was going to be proposed for a third time in attempts to make it successful but many people feared that the bill would yet again fail. As of this year, congress unfortunately decided to block the bill for a third time, but still insist on trying to eliminate this wage gap in the United States.
Reflecting back on this article, I personally believe that this wage gap will never be resolved if we don’t come to a complete conclusion as to what exactly to do. All of us in the United States have to try to make efforts in to ending this wage gap. If we just sit back and watch, then nothing will ever change.
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
— Jim Rohn, (1930–2009)