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Gender wage gap at center of political debate

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill agree that the wage gap between the average salary paid to men and the average salary paid to women for the same work still exists. Like many political debates, that is where the agreement seems to end. Exactly how large that gap is and how the problem should be addressed are two issues that are currently the topic of discussion.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is on the table for consideration in the Senate this week. With this piece of legislation, some lawmakers hope to increase the number of regulations that private companies must abide by when compensating those that are on the company’s payroll. “The more light you can shine on wages, the better,” said President Heidi Hartmann of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

According to President Barack Obama’s administration, women today make on average only 77 cents for every dollar that a male earns. There is discrepancy on whether this statistic is completely accurate because it is based on the aggregation of U.S. salaries.

Although he may not agree on the exact number, Brendan Buck, the spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner, confirmed that “the wage gap is real.” On this side of the debate are the lawmakers that argue that no additional regulation is necessary.

Whatever that exact number is, these lawmakers argue that the necessary protections are already in place to solve the problem and close the gap. These protections are laws that prohibit pay discrimination based on gender.

The purpose of this Evesham employment law blog is to inform individuals of current issues surrounding employee rights, and so we won’t be taking sides in the political debate. The message that we do want to put out there is that an employment law attorney can help enforce those aws cited above, like the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and fight for changes a worker may not even know they have control over.

Source: The Economic Times, “As Barack Obama spotlights gender gap in wages, his own payroll draws scrutiny,” Michael D Shear and Annie Lowrey, April 8, 2014

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