April 15 2014

Blogger to "Paycheck Fairness" Act: Stay Dead

Charlotte Hays

As you know, the “Paycheck Fairness” Act bit the dust last week for the third time, when Congress failed to find the votes to pass the piece of legislation.  

And Washington Post columnist Nia-Malika Henderson knows why--the defeat has nothing to do with the merits of the law but rather was the result of a bad graphic the White House send out to churn up support.

Our wickedly funny friend Charlotte Allen—who is now blogging for the Los Angeles Times—demolishes the bad graphic defense (and, along the way, gives recognition to IWF’s work to explain why this bill would do nothing to help women).

The Other Charlotte writes:

Right, the Paycheck Fairness Act failed because the White House graphic featured a drawing of a couple of women wearing dresses (one pink -- oh my!) and high heels instead of pants and sneakers. Grim socialist realism is the only permissible artistic style in the feminist polity.

Actually, that graphic was the best thing about the Paycheck Fairness Act. It had a pleasing retro look to it, with its two women silhouetted in elegant Jackie Kennedy period attire. It was a subtle reminder that the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which the Paycheck Fairness Act purported to amend, was passed with the enthusiastic support of Jackie's soon-to-be-assassinated husband (and, I might add for the record, every single Republican in Congress at the time).

As for the Paycheck Fairness Act itself, it was a turkey of a bill about which I hope someone will finally say, "Three's a charm -- time for the chopping block."

To switch metaphors ever so slightly, it was one of what I call the evil spawn of Lilly Ledbetter. Ledbetter, you might remember, was a former employee of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. who had believed for years that she been paid less than her male coworkers because of her sex. But she waited until shortly before her retirement from Goodyear in 1998 to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that Ledbetter had waited too long to bring her complaint of sex discrimination, and that she should have filed with the EEOC at around the time she first became aware of Goodyear's alleged gender-based pay disparity rather than at the time she collected her last paycheck.

Ms. Ledbetter of course became the poster child for the “Paycheck Fairness” Act. Charlotte quotes Carrie Lukas on what the real result of the act would be: more work for lawyers, less flexibility for women in the work place because employers would have to be very careful not to trigger a lawsuit by allowing flexibility for an employee.

Do read Charlotte’s entire piece.  

 

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