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On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and urge him or her to vote NO on the Paycheck Fairness Act, H.R. 7. The bill would make it easier for an employee or employees who allege wage discrimination to sue their employer while also making it nearly impossible for employers to defend their practices. Most importantly, not only does it do this at no benefit to the women it purports to be for, but actually does it at their expense, by harming job creators who offer the variety of jobs that women enjoy choice within.
The Paycheck Fairness Act is an attempt by the left to address the gender wage gap, which they argue is solely the result of employer discrimination between men and women. Data from the Census Bureau does show that women working full time earn 80 percent of what men earn. However, this is explained not by discrimination, but instead by women and men making different employment choices as a result of a difference in prioritization when choosing a job.
Merits and causes of the gender wage gap aside, however, the Paycheck Fairness Act does nothing to increase gender equality in the workplace. It is, as many Democratic priorities in the 116th Congress have been thus far, a “solution” in search of a problem, that will inevitably create a new problem.
In fact, it is already illegal, as enacted in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, to pay men and women different wages for equal work. The Paycheck Fairness Act would shift the burden of proof in enforcing this law fully onto the employer being sued, by forcing them to prove that 100 percent of a pay difference between men and women are related to “bona fide factors,” which is nearly impossible to prove and would have devastating consequences on our nation’s job creators.
Additionally, the Paycheck Fairness would spend more federal dollars to authorize a grant program to provide negotiation skills to girls and women as well as mandate data collection and reports related to pay equity. The bill would also make it illegal for an employer to consider wage and benefit history when considering a potential employee while also imposing civil penalties for violations of this provision. As anybody involved in business can tell, these types of policies and mandates are harmful -- not helpful -- for employees.
Once again, the left has chosen to play identity politics to convince women that they are on their side. What masquerades as a gender-equality bill is in fact just a giveaway to trial lawyers that will kill jobs, harm women’s (and men’s) ability to find and negotiate employment best suited for them, and do nothing to increase gender equality in the workplace.
FreedomWorks will count the vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, H.R. 7, when calculating our Scorecard for 2019 and reserves the right to score any amendments and weight any votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks