As if I needed another reason to want to yell at Republicans everywhere, this news about the vote to close loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act made me want to hurt somebody:
“This is just politics. This should be called the trial lawyers bonanza bill,” complained Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, the top Republican on the Senate labor committee. “It has nothing to do with the women. They will get very little out of it. What it allows is huge class-action suits with very little defense by any employer.”
Even the retiring moderate Republican senator from Maine, Olympia Snowe, whose support Democrats hoped to win, called the Democrats’ bill “regrettable” and an “overreach.” “I think there are other ways (of) addressing these issues, and this legislation goes too far,” Snow said. The bill “would put a tremendous burden on employers through lawsuits, class-action lawsuits.”
I don’t know about you, but I really love it when men say that women will get very little out of things that we’ve been fighting for. Those silly ladies, they don’t really know what they need! Eighty-one cents on the dollar, how bad could it really be? But that’s one of the reasons I loathe politics. It’s a lot of posturing by people who make enough money that they don’t have to worry about making equal pay for equal work.
So, what are the rest of us supposed to do?
Narrow the Gapp, which was created by Gina Trapani, is a great resource for salary negotiation techniques and general information about the pay gap in most industries. I highly recommend the site. suggests that at the current pace, “it will take until 2056 for women and men’s earnings to reach pay parity.” I was hoping I could retire by then, but oops, guess not!
If you’re more of a visual person, FlowingData has a good chart showing the discrepancy between men and women’s salaries. The New York Times also wrote about how the pay gap between men and women only widens as women get older.
I don’t know about y’all, but I’m feeling really jazzed up for the work week now.