Why Would Any Woman Vote Republican?
Today, June 5, 2012, every single Republican Senator voted against cloture on the Paycheck Fairness Act. The proposed bill would provide avenues of legal redress requiring employers to demonstrate that pay was based on performance, not gender; would prevent employers from retaliating against women who *gasp* ask their colleagues what they make; would make employers who discriminate liable for damages; and would provide a timeline for action that is correlated to each discriminatory paycheck, not just the first one as previously. The burden of evidence needed by someone to invoke the provisions is high, making abundant or frivolous lawsuits unlikely. And it addresses only one of four affirmative defenses available to employers, adding to very targeted circumstances in which it would be invoked. Taken together, it is hardly likely to become a “trial lawyers’ bonanza” as claimed by Senator Enzi. Absent that argument, I cannot fathom what else would prompt the Republican Senators in good faith to block the measure.
I used to vote Republican. I don’t any more. I don’t know why any woman would. Unless she feels it’s true that her work is worth a fraction of what a man would be paid to do it. I don’t.
June 6, 2012 Update: First, my mistake, the Lily Ledbetter Act provided for the change in reporting requirements. Second, here is the text of the bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:1:./temp/~c1116eZMan:e8830: and here is a discussion of its importance: http://www.nwlc.org/resource/closing-factor-other-sex-loophole-equal-pay-act.