Happy National Equal Pay Day!
As most of you know women continue to earn 77cents for every dollar that a man earns.
Put another way…if a man and a woman worked side by side doing the exact same job since January 1st…the woman would not get paid until today. 98 days working for free!
What makes this unfair situation even more egregious is that we have a law on the books which prevents discrimination in the payment of wages and benefits based on gender when men and women are performing the same job. It’s called the Equal Pay Act and it was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy in 1963!
President Obama has made equal pay for equal work one of the key economic components of his administration. The first act he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009. The law made it easier for an individual to file an equal pay lawsuit. The president supports the Paycheck Fairness Act which updates strengthens the 1963 Equal pay Act. This week he will issue two executive orders that the administration says will strengthen equal pay laws for women.
Republicans naturally object. And once again they are playing the “it will hurt small businesses” card. They say that forcing small businesses to raise women’s wages will force many of them out of business and hurt our economy.
Over the past decade small businesses have been handed every economic advantage congress can fathom. They have received billions in tax cuts, loopholes, abatements and subsidies. Millions of small business owners are thriving. Many are millionaires and billionaires. Wall Street is awash with small business owners who have prospered handsomely from the government’s largesse. Yet every time Washington asks for them to give something back we hear the same old tired whine.
If you are a small business owner and you have been unable to make ends meet in spite of a decade’s worth of government handouts…then maybe it IS time that you close up shop and seek another line of work!
Women make up roughly half of the American workforce. By ever increasing numbers they are the primary bread winners in their households.
Today they finally get paid.