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Top Five Reasons to Oppose the Paycheck Fairness Act

With the Senate set to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, here are the top five reasons to oppose the bill that could hurt women and economic growth.

1. The Wage Gap is Mostly Due to Individual Choices Made by Women, Not Discrimination.

It is often said that “women make 77 cents to a man’s dollar.” This is entirely misleading because it neglects occupation and education. It just compares the median wage for a wage-earning female with the median wage for a wage-earning male. On average, women do earn less than men but that’s mostly because of individual choices.

Men and women tend to be interested in different career choices. Men are more likely to choose highly lucrative college majors such as engineering and computer science. On the other hand, women are more likely to choose lower-paying majors such as education, English, and psychology.

Women are also more likely to choose safer and more flexible jobs. Studies show that women enter and leave the workforce at a much higher rate than men. Men are more likely to have dangerous jobs, high stress jobs, work longer hours, and travel more for work.

The gender wage gap is not something that legislation can fix.

2. The Wage Gap Disappears When Comparing Apples to Apples.

When you compare apples to apples, the wage gap largely disappears. Actually, the wage gap swings the other way: men are paid less than their female counterparts on average. The average salary for a female mechanical engineer is $61,100 a year, while men make $60,400. Young, childless, single urban women earn 8 percent more than their male counterparts. Women who have never had a child earn 113 percent of what men earn. Unmarried college-educated males between the ages of 40 and 64 earn nearly 15 percent less than their female counterparts.

3. It is Already Illegal to Discriminate against Women in the Workplace.

The PFA is unnecessary. The 1963 Equal Pay Act already bans sex discrimination in the workplace. We need fewer laws, not more. This bill is less about stopping female discrimination and more about benefiting trial lawyers who would profit from the law.

4. The Paycheck Fairness Act Would Expose Small Businesses to Frivolous Lawsuits.

The PFA would be a gift to trial lawyers. It would require the federal government to collect information on workers' pay classified by race and sex. The PFA would make it much easier for any person to file a frivolous class-action lawsuit with punitive damages against employers. This would enrich trial lawyers since damage awards would be uncapped under the PFA.

5. The Paycheck Fairness Act Could Increase Female Unemployment.

The PFA raises the liability employers’ face when hiring women. The bill could have the unintended consequence of actually hurting the same people it was supposedly trying to help. It could lead to employers hiring fewer women due to fear of costly frivolous lawsuits. The last thing we need is a law that makes employers hesitant about employing women.

Click here to see FreedomWorks' key vote notice against the Paycheck Fairness Act.