Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation meant to close the pay gap between men and women, framing an election-year fight between the parties over whose policies are friendlier to women.
The bill was an attempt by Democrats to press what they see as their electoral advantage among women in the coming midterm elections, but they fell short of the 60 votes they needed to prevent a filibuster and advance the legislation.“For reasons known only to them, Senate Republicans don’t seem to be interested in closing wage gaps for working women,” Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said in a floor speech.
Shut your fucking pie hole, Reid. Did it ever occur to you that not every problem needs the government to fix it? I know, what a thought.
Let's look at what S.2199 entails, shall we?
Paycheck Fairness Act - Amends the portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) known as the Equal Pay Act to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages.
Sounds good so far...
Revises the exception to the prohibition for a wage rate differential based on any other factor other than sex. Limits such factors to bona fide factors, such as education, training, or experience.
Wait a fucking second. What if I'm a woman who took 3 years off to have babies, so when I came back into the work force, I had less training and experience than my male counterparts who never left to go have kids. Does that count? Am I being punished for being a mother? Is my boss either a dick or an idiot for paying me as much as my colleague who did not take 3 years off, regardless of the reason?
States that the bona fide factor defense shall apply only if the employer demonstrates that such factor: (1) is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation, (2) is job-related with respect to the position in question, and (3) is consistent with business necessity. Makes such defense inapplicable where the employee demonstrates that: (1) an alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing such differential, and (2) the employer has refused to adopt such alternative practice.
So the burden is on the employer. Great. How does my employer prove that? "Well you see, government, Adrienne is a shitty worker but now that you're up our ass, we're going broke paying her just as much as our high performers because all of them are males and you might get pissy about that even though Adrienne accepts that she sucks at her job." Because, vagina! Seems legit.
Revises the prohibition against employer retaliation for employee complaints. Prohibits retaliation for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing the wages of the employee or another employee in response to a complaint or charge, or in furtherance of a sex discrimination investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, or an investigation conducted by the employer.Retaliation is never cool but I don't want everyone else knowing what I make, and I don't want some overzealous employee making a case of it and then blaming their plumbing for it because government said so.
Makes employers who violate sex discrimination prohibitions liable in a civil action for either compensatory or (except for the federal government) punitive damages.You fucking weasels. Of course "except for the federal government" because what's good for the goose is never good for the gander.
States that any action brought to enforce the prohibition against sex discrimination may be maintained as a class action in which individuals may be joined as party plaintiffs without their written consent.HOLD THE FUCK UP. What if I am happy with my compensation and like my employer and accept that I might get paid a little less than my colleagues (both male and female) because I'm a shitty employee? I mean, I'm not, but let's just say I am. I automatically have to be a part of some fucking class action bullshit? No thank you.
Authorizes the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to seek additional compensatory or punitive damages in a sex discrimination action.
Again, because of course. I swear sometimes you people are no better than the vampire squid with your blood-sucking...
Requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to train EEOC employees and affected individuals and entities on matters involving wage discrimination.Shouldn't they already be trained? But sure, throw away a bunch more money on "training" them some more.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to eligible entities for negotiation skills training programs for girls and women. Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of Education to issue regulations or policy guidance to integrate such training into certain programs under their Departments.What about men who want these skills, can they apply for grants? I mean, we're talking fairness here, aren't we? Can't exclude the dudes, then.
Directs the Secretary to conduct studies and provide information to employers, labor organizations, and the general public regarding the means available to eliminate pay disparities between men and women.Oh for the love of... private organizations and educational institutions do this already. But hey, throw some more money at the problem, sounds like a plan.
Establishes the Secretary of Labor's National Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace for an employer who has made a substantial effort to eliminate pay disparities between men and women.Yeah, because handing out awards worked out so well for my generation. Here's your gold sticker, now go fuck off. If the point is fairness, and if organizations are REQUIRED to do this, then why are you rewarding the ones who have? Isn't that the point? You know, DOING IT?
Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to require the EEOC to collect from employers pay information data regarding the sex, race, and national origin of employees for use in the enforcement of federal laws prohibiting pay discrimination.Again, you fucking weasels and your data. The government already knows how old I am, where my people come from, what plumbing I was born with and how much I make -- why does the EEOC need this? Oh, right, because it's the government.
Directs: (1) the Commissioner of Labor Statistics to continue to collect data on woman workers in the Current Employment Statistics survey, (2) the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to use specified types of methods in investigating compensation discrimination and in enforcing pay equity, and (3) the Secretary to make accurate information on compensation discrimination readily available to the public.So, more paper pushing? Oh, my lady parts feel more liberated and equal already!
Directs the Secretary and the Commissioner [sic] of the EEOC jointly to develop technical assistance material to assist small businesses to comply with the requirements of this Act.LOL. "We're from the government and we're here to help."
I'm glad Senate Republicans saw right through this bullshit. As my friend Allison Bricker said on Facebook:
Women are not cats stuck up in a tree needing government mandated equality. A wise woman and her skill set know no competition.
On that note, I will borrow the words of Ani Difranco, who might be really pissed I used these sacred words of hers to prove why Republicans might be onto something (assuming they aren't just cockblocking legislation as usual, natch):
I ain't no damsel in distress
and I don't need to be rescued
so put me down punk
maybe you'd prefer a maiden fair
isn't there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere