Has anyone heard of the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014? I hadn’t until my class focused on wealth and inequality. According to the Huffington Post article on 09\15\2014 by Laura Basset at the Post, the Senate blocked the act for the fourth time. The act would strengthen equal pay laws for women. “The Paycheck Fairness Act would ban employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with each other, impose harsher penalties for pay discrimination and require employers to be able to show that wage gaps between men and women are based on factors other than gender” said Basset.
Does anyone find it odd that we are not allowed to discuss our salaries with our co-workers? I understand that everyone is entitled to their own privacy and they should be able to choose what information they share with others however, why am I not allowed to discuss it if I want to? According to the Census Bureau, women earn an average of 77 cents per dollar that every man earns in the United States. In Connecticut, women are 78 cents per dollar. I’ve experienced this first hand in a previous job where I was paid almost thirty percent less than my former male colleague in the same position. Yes, factors such as length of employment and experience should be considered but to what degree?
What can we do? I’ve heard many discussions about the doubt and disgust with our Politicians and political system. Many of our young voters feel like the system is flawed and filled with crooks. We all need to make time to educate ourselves on what is happening in our country as the gender pay gap is still in existence in 2014, our middle class citizens are being economically stretched so thin and the rich get richer. Education, awareness of the details in bills, and push-back from our citizens are going to be essential in making any sort of change in this country. Instead of allowing frustration and doubt fill our minds, we need to fill our minds with facts, statistics and group together to initiate change. Who’s in?