Sunday, August 31, 2008

Equal Pay For Women

posted by John Blanco @ 7:39 PM


A big campaign attack for Obama has been the issue of fairness of pay for women. This comes from the Supreme Court decision a couple years back where a woman was denied the ability to sue her former employer when she found out, years later, she was being far underpaid in comparison to her male counterparts, with smaller raises, etc.

The decision was that the woman had 180 days, a reasonable about they (Thomas, Scalia, etc.) decided, to report the discrepancy.

The opinion was outrageous. Unless you want to create a law that requires employers post all their employees' salaries on a big board (not likely), a woman can't possibly find the information out until they, and likely the other employees, have left the company. (Co-workers are more likely to spill their salary after they've left a job.)

Barack Obama co-sponsored a bill to lengthen that timeframe and make true equality possible. McCain declined to vote on the bill. Here's the info:

Obama, sharing the stage with running mate Joe Biden, has often criticized McCain's stand on a failed Senate bill called the Fair Pay Restoration Act. It essentially would have reversed a 5-4 Supreme Court decision holding that a woman had only 180 days to formally complain that she was paid less than male colleagues for the same work.

Obama, who co-sponsored the bill, says such barriers should be eased.

McCain missed the Senate vote, but said at the time: "I am all in favor of pay equity for women. But this kind of legislation ... opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems."

Yes, it would open up a lot of lawsuits, if employers treated workers unfairly! Sort of the point. That's what laws do. Protect us from abuses.

But, here's the laugher. The McCain campaign response is:

The McCain campaign said Sunday that the presidential candidate and Palin support equal pay for women even though they do not think the 180-day limit for filing complaints should be changed.

Classic! So, they support it, but only with the original 180-day guideline. In other words, McCain opposes it. It's called protecting corporate interests and it's how the Republican Party works.

I guess that's why they call us Progressive, and they will call him the Presidential runner up. :-)


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