Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said during a House floor speech Wednesday that in the United States women "worked for free" until April each year in comparison to men.
"For the first three months of the year, most women are working for free compared to what a man will make in the overall year," Pelosi said, referring to so-called "Equal Pay Day" on April 2, when wage gap proponents say a woman has to work until to match what a man made the previous year.
Pelosi took to the House floor to speak in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Democrats have tried to pass for 20 years and would add protections to the 1963 Equal Pay Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to CNBC. It is already illegal to pay women less for doing the same job as a man.
According to CNBC, the legislation would "ban salary secrecy, increase penalties for employers who retaliate against workers who share wage information and allow workers to sue for damages of pay discrimination. The bill would also provide more training for employers on collecting pay gap information and eliminating pay disparities."
While Democrats have the House majority, the bill is likely dead in the water in the Republican-controlled Senate.
A conservative Heritage Foundation research fellow wrote in the Hill that the Paycheck Fairness Act didn't address pay discrimination, since that's already illegal, but instead would result in equal pay for "unequal work." Republicans have said such a bill would make companies less likely to hire women and result in too many lawsuits.
President Barack Obama frequently peddled the statistic in office that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man does, by simply comparing the median pays of women and men.
However, wage gap proponents frequently discount factors like women having children, earning degrees that result in lower-paying jobs, and pursuing more part-time work with flexible hours than men, all of which has a downward drive on experience levels and pay overall. Some estimates place the gender wage gap between two and five percent with those facets taken into account.
Although the "wage gap" has been a pet issue for Democrats for years, many prominent ones are guilty of paying men far more than women in their own offices, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Chicago Mayor and former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel (D.).
Published under: Nancy Pelosi