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Obama, Senate Democrats take aim at gender pay gap

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 8, 2014 at 7:36 a.m.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress are making a concerted election-year push to draw attention to women's wages, linking Obama executive actions with pending Senate legislation aimed at closing a compensation gender gap that favors men.

Obama on Tuesday planned to sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay. He also was to direct the Labor Department to issue new rules requiring federal contractors to provide compensation data that includes a breakdown by race and gender.

The Democratic-controlled Senate this week planned to take up legislation that would make it easier for workers to sue companies for paying women less than men because of gender. The legislation, like Obama's narrower executive order, would forbid companies from punishing workers who share salary information and would allow punitive and compensatory damages in lawsuits.

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KCSAP says... April 8, 2014 at 11:12 a.m.

Just words!

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Packman says... April 8, 2014 at 4:46 p.m.

Here comes some more red meat to feed to the UIA (Useful Idiots of America). There is no wage gap between the sexes. There is a gap, however, between people with less education and less job experience and those with more education and more job experience. The nexus of Obama's newest con has been thoroughly debunked by objective study. Notice in the story where it says "election-year push"? Speaks volumes, doesn't it. Conversely, why isn't Obama interested in closing the real compensation gender gap that favors women? Female models make more than male models, so let's close this gap. Female school teaches make more than male school teachers so what about that? Female exotic dancers make more than male exotic dancers so close that gap too. Obama's election year pandering is shameless, except that it does work on the Democrats core constituency, useful idiots.
Aside from UIA members, can anyone think of a reason that federal contractors would mandate that employees not discuss pay with peers? Here's a hint: The reason has nothing to do with compensation of the sexes but everything to do with winning bids in a competitive environment. Pay scales should be color blind based on length of acceptable service, education, and job performance. And did you notice the part about allowing damages in lawsuits? OMG, I'm sure it's just an accident trial lawyers set new records in political donations to Democrats in 2012. C'mon all you libs screaming about the Koch brothers buying elections, what say ye about these executive orders and their dirty relationship to trial lawyers money?

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... April 8, 2014 at 5:08 p.m.

Julie, grab that ninety pound jack hammer. I have some work for you.

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nwar says... April 8, 2014 at 6:01 p.m.

Nice to see all the knuckle draggers out today. If you take a look at what women make -- one year after college graduation, it is still quite a bit less -- experience makes no difference. But I know that does not matter to you. I can tell you that I personally made less than men in the same profession, sometimes with less experience for several years, under one particular boss -- because the men had "families to support." What bull. If you haven't been there, then you ought to shut up.

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Populist says... April 8, 2014 at 6:27 p.m.

There are many reasons for a gender pay gap which have nothing to do with sex discrimination. Women are much more likely to make career sacrifices to take care of the children. Women naturally will be paid less when they are willing to work fewer hours and commute fewer hours. When I decided to have children, I purposely steered clear of jobs which would be too demanding (such as litigation) so that I would have more time with my kids. Women purposely enter into professions such as teaching and nursing with the knowledge that these are good professions for mothers. Now that I have taken a 9 year break from working, I naturally would not be as attractive to most employers as somebody who has been continuously working. Also, there are interesting differences in the genders which makes women not choose careers in some of the higher paying professions such as the sciences, computers, or accounting and instead choose the lower paying professions which involve more interaction with people. I also think that women tend to be more full of self doubt and less entrepreneurial. People who have the nerve to start their own businesses tend to make more money than people who just seek positions as employees. While sexism and racism in pay may still be a problem in certain parts of the country, I think it is quickly fading in most of the country. This nation has greater problems than a gender pay gap.

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nwar says... April 8, 2014 at 6:54 p.m.

populist -- I generally like your comments. While your situation may be reality to you -- it was not for me. I graduated at the very top of my class from a great college and went to work in a male dominated field -- engineering. And while you may have wanted fewer hours and time for kids, I didn't. It didn't matter. What happened to me had NOTHING to do with the "mommy track." I was willing to put in the ridiculous hours, do whatever it took. And I actually was successful. But for several years, I had to work for a small-brained boss, who refused to give me raises commensurate with my performance. MY ratings were actually very good. But he still felt since my peers had wives and kids and I didn't, well, you just don't need it as badly. He actually TOLD ME THIS. As I said before, that's bull. And I can't believe you would say otherwise.

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RoyDaMercer says... April 8, 2014 at 7:28 p.m.

Sorry you had a bad boss nwar but I gave raises of 25% and 20% to females last year, and I'm not talking about in $13/hour jobs. They make more than many of their male counterparts because they earned it. If you continued to work for a bad boss for several years look in the mirror.

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djigoo says... April 8, 2014 at 7:55 p.m.

Troglodyte rush hour.

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Populist says... April 8, 2014 at 8 p.m.


I had one boss who gave me a bad reference when I left because I would not sleep with him. I also feel that I got cheated on compensation issues when I lived in Arkansas. However, these things are very difficult for the federal government to regulate. As we both know, I never sued over the sexual harassment because it would have ruined my career. Life is never fair, and even laws cannot always make it fair. Women and blacks need access to quality education more. This country needs more skilled and educated people. We need to turn our attention to improving the skills of the workforce. I may not be against making it easier for certain people to sue. Having represented businesses, however, the people who often bring cases are those without merit. I am glad when high punitive damages are awarded in horrible cases, and I admire those who bring them. However, people who are skilled can recover from working for a bad employer.

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