WHAT DOES EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK MEAN ?
In nearly every line of work, women face a pay gap. Among the many occupations studied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women’s earnings are higher than men’s in only a handful.
Jobs traditionally associated with men (like computer programming and aerospace engineering) tend to pay better than traditionally “female” jobs (like nursing and administrative support). Even in jobs where the same level of skill is required, jobs associated with men tend to pay more. Parking lot attendants, who are predominantly men, are paid more on average than child care workers, who are predominantly women, even though child care workers are increasingly required to obtain postsecondary education.
Over the past 50 years, women have started to enter jobs that were once occupied almost entirely by men, but women and men still tend to work in different kinds of jobs. This segregation by occupation is a major factor behind the pay gap. But it’s not the whole story.
WHAT IS THE PAY GAP ( WAGE GAP ) ?
FEDERAL PUBLIC POLICY ON EQUAL PAY
The pay gap is real and pervasive, and it affects all women. There is no one silver bullet to fix the problem. Rather, individuals, employers, and communities need to take action.
Congress has a history of considering, and in some cases enacting, laws that address discrimination in employment. Yet these legal protections have not ensured equal pay for women and men.
With American Association of University Women (AAUW)’s support, President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law on January 29, 2009. This law lengthens the time period in which employees can bring legal action for pay discrimination lawsuits. It clarifies that pay discrimination can occur when a pay decision is made, when an employee is subject to that decision, or at any time that an employee is injured by it.
Other pending legislative measures include the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Fair Pay Act, and the Pay Equity for All Act, which would expand fair pay protections and strengthen enforcement efforts.
On Equal Pay Day in 2014, Obama signed two AAUW-supported executive orders addressing pay discrimination and subsequently worked to add regulations to increase pay protections. However, in 2017 President Donald Trump rescinded several equal pay protections, including rolling back requirements for federal contractors to comply with labor and civil rights laws and halting implementation of a data collection tool to increase wage transparency.
Federal budgets need to ensure adequate enforcement of all civil rights laws through sufficient funding and staffing of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the various civil rights divisions. The Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, the only federal agency devoted to the concerns of women in the workplace, should be fully funded to continue its important work on fair pay issues.
DEADLINE IS MAY 1st.
The application deadline for the Strategic Corporate Research Summer School is May 1. The class is sponsored by the AFL-CIO and Cornell University, and it will take place on June 10-15, 2018 in Ithaca, New York.
ABOUT THE COURSE
The course is designed for students and others who want to make corporations accountable by working as researchers in unions and social change organizations. The course offers a regular track and an advanced track with an additional research and writing requirement.
WHO CAN ATTEND
It is open to individuals applying on their own and to individuals sponsored by unions and other organizations. Partial scholarships are available to non-sponsored individuals who opt for the advanced track. Inquire if interested in obtaining academic credit.
For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 607-269-7246, or go to the course website: www.ilr.cornell.edu/worker-institute/education-training/strategic-corporate-research-summer-school
A WEBINAR HOSTED BY JOBS FOR JUSTICE AND THE LABOR RESEARCH ACTION NETWORK
The LRAN Projects committee is continuing its quarterly webinar series. The next webinar, “Sexual Harassment and the Labor Movement” will be Tuesday April 17th @ 2pm EST.
The emergence of the #MeToo movement has shown that it is incumbent upon the US labor movement to make workplace harassment a central issue. Please join this discussion, led by a panel of experienced researchers and organizers: