Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wage Equality

A friend on Facebook posted about how the wage equality issue Patricia Arquette mentioned in her Oscar acceptance speech was mostly a myth. This was my response.

Explaining that the gap is because women don't take jobs as roofers, truckers, sewer workers, prison guards, or miners seems to be a weak argument. Saying there isn't a problem because women aren't choosing to go into fields like tech is naive when there are issues like this: Women are leaving the tech industry in droves.

Yes, the 77% number is often used out of context. I prefer this article about it, Playing Politics with the Pay Gap

A gap that's 4.8-7% is still real and for whatever reason should be fixed.

Even still, if you think that women should be paid the same as men for the same work, then none of this is an argument against a law or regulation mandating that. The Lily Ledbetter case was real. She was discriminated against and the defense successfully used a statue of limitation argument (not an argument that she wasn't discriminated against). The subsequent law changed that, extending the limitation to 6 months after the last check doesn't seem outrageous to me, and Republicans still opposed it.

And as an actress, I think Arquette was fair to point out wage discrepancy in her field. This was my favorite story from the Sony hack: Charlize Theron Negotiates $10M Raise After Sony Hack Reveals Male Costar Was To Be Paid Millions More

And one of the reasons there isn't great data on this is employers usually discourage employees from discussing salary with co-workers and people don't know they probably have the right to do so without punishment. Of course the protection for this is the NLRB and Republicans want to eliminate that too. You Have The Right To Discuss Salary With Coworkers

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