People are climbing on board to champion the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act as a giant step for women, who make only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. But that’s not what this law is about. The Equal Pay Act addressed wage inequality in 1963 and the courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have been investigating and litigating unequal pay claims since then. A testament to how effective the 1963 act has been is that there are only about 1,000 EEOC discriminatory pay claims made each year, of which about 22% are found valid.
The Paycheck Fairness Act, like the Equality Act, has been billed as a law to help women gain equality — yet the focus is actually on transgender equality. In the first line of the proposed act, Congress redefines what is meant by sex (not gender). Per Congress, sex no longer refers to biological differences. Sex “is defined to include sex stereotypes, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.”
To make sure employers are in compliance, the measure calls for regulations to mandate that employers collect information on compensation and data according to “national origin, race, and sex.” The collection of data on “sex” will necessitate that employers require their workers to declare their pronouns and sexual orientations.
There is ample research to show that differences in pay between men and women are rarely due to discrimination. Most differences tie to hours worked, qualifications, experience, seniority of position, profession and location.
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