March 22, 2019

An Unfair Paycheck Act

House Democrats are pushing forward yet another oppressive measure disguised under the label of “equality”. The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7) is messaged as a bill that outlaws sex-based wage discrimination. The Left makes this sound like a good effort, but in reality, unequal pay on the basis of sex is illegal now.

Sex discrimination in the workplace is already prohibited by law through Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. These measures require that women and men are paid equally for equal work. H.R. 7 does not give women any more rights or access to money than they already have. In fact, it may cause a decrease in their paychecks.

H.R. 7 further perpetuates the lie that there is a wage gap between males and females in the workforce. Statistics show that overall, women make 80 cents on the dollar compared to men.  However, the reasons for this disparity are omitted. A Pew Research study found that the vast majority of women value a flexible schedule, security, and happiness in a job over more take-home pay. Women are more likely than men to work part-time or take more time off to raise a family. They are also more likely to take a job that may give them a smaller paycheck but allows them to have increased benefits, like liberal leave and a consistent work-life balance. Mandating “equal pay” would discourage businesses from allowing creative benefits for women by issuing a one-size-fits-all approach and eliminating choice.

There is a group of people who will benefit from H.R. 7: lawyers. Employers will be forced to defend their pay practices by reporting pay data to the federal government. Businesses will spend more money on attorney fees and additional liability insurance instead of putting it in their employees’ paychecks. It also changes EPA class action lawsuits to a mandatory opt-out system instead of an opt-in system. Trial lawyers will see this as a gold mine. They are more likely to win a trial of unintentional pay discrimination which will pad their pockets with more income.

This bill is expected to move next week so that liberals can celebrate their fictional “Equal Pay Day”. This is one step toward a sex-neutral society in which outcomes supersede performance and personal choice.  Eagle Forum will fight against this bill to better protect the rights of women and families across our nation.

UPDATE: March 27, 2019: The Paycheck Fairness Act passed the House 242-187.