New to the art form? This Wall Street Journal article will get you orientated. Also, for more information on how some of these titles mislead lawmakers and the citizenry, find some academic commentary from Brian Christopher Jones here:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Post-Ledbetter Paycheck Fairness

The first law that President Obama signed in 2009 was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which reversed a Supreme Court judgment and, among other things, extended filing periods for employees making wage discrimination claims. However, the Obama Administration believes more work needs to be done in this area, and in addition to supporting Sen. Mikulski's (D., MD) Paycheck Fairness Act, took two more executive actions today. The first executive order "prevent[s] federal contractors from 'retaliating' against workers who discuss their compensation." The second executive order "require[s] federal contractors to submit to the government summary data on employee compensation including details on sex and race."

In regard to the Administration's support for Sen. Mikulski's bill, they note that: 
The Paycheck Fairness Act represents a significant step forward to address pay disparities and other obstacles that continue to harm the advancement of women in our economy. For example, the legislation would enhance the enforcement of equal pay laws by prohibiting retaliation against employees who ask about or discuss wage information, and by providing more effective remedies for women subjected to discriminatory pay practices. S. 2199 would strengthen the Equal Pay Act by closing judicially-created loopholes for employer defenses and by bringing its class action rules into conformity with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. S. 2199 would also strengthen the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's enforcement of laws prohibiting pay discrimination, and facilitate voluntary employer compliance, by requiring the collection of pay data.
Yet not everyone agrees with the Administration's "77 cents on the dollar" talking point, which Mr. Obama quoted in January's State of the Union speech. Mark J. Perry of the American Enterprise Institute recently penned an op-ed in the WSJ arguing that if certain environmental aspects are controlled for, women actually make similar money to men. He notes that, 
While the BLS reports that full-time female workers earned 81% of full-time males, that is very different than saying that women earned 81% of what men earned for doing the same jobs, while working the same hours, with the same level of risk, with the same educational background and the same years of continuous, uninterrupted work experience, and assuming no gender differences in family roles like child care. ...  
These gender-disparity claims are also economically illogical. If women were paid 77 cents on the dollar, a profit-oriented firm could dramatically cut labor costs by replacing male employees with females. Progressives assume that businesses nickel-and-dime suppliers, customers, consultants, anyone with whom they come into contact—yet ignore a great opportunity to reduce wages costs by 23%. They don't ignore the opportunity because it doesn't exist. Women are not in fact paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.

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