At Work

Equal pay for men … and

Let’s say you are starting a new company which has ten different jobs. You hire ten employees in each job for 100 total employees. You start each person in each job category at the same rate and let’s say 50% of employees are women.

All men and women in job A earn say $20 an hour and all men and women in job B earn $30 an hour as an example.

Now it is five years later, some employees have left and you have hired replacements at salaries commensurate with their past experience and accomplishments and the competitive salaries in the market.

In addition, in the last five years performance among employees has varied, some good, some great, some not so good. Some women make more than men in the same job and vice versa.

Nevertheless, you decide to look at the big picture. You find that on average the women who still equal 50% of the workforce earn 85% of what the men earn. What happened?

Is this discrimination? Is this a reflection of many of the factors I have mentioned? Should every person doing the same job be making the same pay regardless of any other factors? What if the analysis showed that men earned 85% of what women earn? What if the turnover was much higher among the women?

imageListening to the rhetoric from the left shouting about women earning 78% of what men earn you must conclude the employer consciously, over five years, decided to pay women less. I hope I demonstrated it is not that simple, nor are there many employers that knowingly violate existing laws and simply pay women less because they want to.

Using the average of pay for men and women to make a claim of unfairness for the entire population is nothing but a red herring. It’s akin to claiming opposition to free contraception is a war on women.

When there is clear discrimination there are laws to deal with that and they should be enforced and appropriate penalties applied. What politicians are doing is misleading and reprehensible and designed only to benefit them. If pay discrimination is as wide-spread as they make it appear we need to ask why the scores of federal and state laws on the books are not being enforced.

January 29, 2016

DemocratsJoin us.
Friend —

On January 29th, 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law — and that was a step forward. Now, it’s easier for those who get paid less because of their gender to seek justice. But this fight is far from over.

It’s 2016, not 1950. Let’s get real about things — paying women less for doing the same job men do is just not acceptable. And I don’t want future generations of women to have to keep fighting this battle over and over again. We’ve got to make this right, once and for all. To do that, we’ve got to elect Democrats.

I’m glad you’re with me on this.

All the best,

Amy

Amy K. Dacey
Chief Executive Officer
Democratic National Committee

Paid for by the Democratic National Committee, 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington DC 20003 and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

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5 replies »

  1. There is no doubt in my mind that work place discrimination happens either intentionally or unintentionally, it is human nature. The examples cited show the difficultly in proving wage discrimination. The studies often do not cited how they determine one’s wage but most are based on W-2 filings for a given job title.

    An E-5 sergeant is an E-5 sergeant male or female therefore there is not wage discrimination. Likewise, as a member of a union, every journeyman on a job is paid the same no matter what their specialty is. In my job I work with a woman and I made $10k more than her last year but yet we are paid the same hourly rate and get the exact same bonus and work the exact same shift.

    The reason I was able to make more money is because I accepted more overtime shifts than her last year. It was all the luck of the draw on when it was offered. The overtime asking list rotates after each overtime assignment is asked so that everybody has an equal amount of chances to work if they wish to work.

    This year due to my vacation schedule and planning to request a few more holidays off in the coming year, I expect to make the same as her or less. There are others with the exact same job classification who are not presently working the rotating shift schedule and they make about 30% less because they do not work nights, weekends, and holidays. Only 35% of my shifts are Monday thru Friday day work (7am – 3 pm).

    If someone took a snap shot they may conclude that she is being discriminated against which is not true at all. The same is true for women who stop working for child birth. If you do not work a few months to a few years your overall earnings will be less.

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    • And then there is that pesky little matter of individual performance on the job which when not applied correctly demoralizes the best performers, especially in a non-Union shop.

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  2. Consider 2014 median income for the head of household by age reported by BLS:
    15 to 24 Years: $34,605
    25 to 34 Years: $54,243
    35 to 44 Years: $66,693
    45 to 54 Years: $70,832
    55 to 64 Years: $60,580
    65 to 74 Years: $45,227
    75+ Years: $28,535
    All ages: $53,657

    Arguing that where average incomes of women and men are different, even in the same job, becomes prima facie evidence of gender discrimination, shifting the burden of proof to the employer, is no different than arguing that average incomes of those age 25 – 34 is higher than average incomes of those ages 65+ is prima facie evidence of age discrimination.

    As Disraeli and later Mark Twain would say: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

    Clearly, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act are nothing more than full employment acts for the plaintiff’s bar. The Equal Pay Act has been in effect since the early 1960’s.

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  3. I served 20 years in the USAF and the pay may be the same for women and men in the same pay grade only if the length of service is the same.

    A Sergeant in pay grade E-5 with 4 years on the job makes $2,614.20. With 8 years on the job they make $2,989.80.
    They could be doing the same exact job, but the pay is not the same. One could have dependents and their housing allowance would be higher,

    You could have 2 Sergeants with the same exact pay, one working on F-15 aircraft electronics and one working as a cook in the dinning hall, Is that fair?

    One could test next promotion cycle and make the next pay grade and get paid more.
    Both joined at the same time and agreed to the pay scale and chance for advancement that is in place.

    No job is any different, you are paid a wage based on your job and experience level.
    Sometimes there are bonuses paid for good performance, not everyone gets them.

    If there is a difference and the government steps in and says everyone has to make the same, what is stopping an employer from cutting the group that is making more down to what the lower paid group is making. Good luck with that one HRC and BS.

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