The left has had a monopoly on the fight for equality for long enough.
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) is proposing a couple bills that will tackle controversial issues that have for far too long been in the Democrats war-chest: Equal pay and paid leave.
Sen. Fischer told Politico:
“I think it’s an issue that — to be honest — that we as a party have not taken a high profile on. Everybody supports equal pay, and sometimes [Republicans] don’t do a good job of messaging and of showing people and coming up with new ideas.”
The reason that the right hasn’t tackled the equal pay for equal work conundrum is that it is a controversy founded in fallacy. We’ve all heard the soundbite that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man does — and this flawed logic echoes through the democratic party now more than ever. This false argument even permeated the Super Bowl with a multitude of commercials advocating for equal pay that is already mandated by the federal government.
Yes, a small pay gap does exist, but there are so many significant differences between the life choices of men and women that simple comparisons of wage cannot be made. Additionally, when comparing men and women’s salaries within the same profession, the gap nearly disappears, according to PolitiFact.
Fischer’s equal pay proposal amends federal law to clarify that women absolutely cannot be punished in the workplace for making public salary information. The bill would potentially block employers from having secrecy clauses in their employee nondisclosure agreements.
The problem with this bill proposal is that it is highly symbolic as well as redundant, according to NPR, as the National Labor Relations Act from 1935 that ensures that private-sector workers have the right to engage in “concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection”.
Sen. Fischer said:
“Everyone believes in equal pay for equal work. Everyone believes in that. That is current law. We want to see the current law upheld, and to try to make this into a war on women, I just think it’s a soundbite that I believe most women are starting to realize is overused.”
Sen. Fischer is also presented a bill proposal with paid maternity leave. Her Strong Families Act would extend a two-year tax credit to business leaders who voluntarily offer their employees at least two weeks paid leave following childbirth.
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On the other side of the aisle, Democrats vocally oppose Sen. Fischer’s bill proposal and instead argue for a better-rounded bill — like the Paycheck Fairness Act — that would extend a legal option to fight blatant pay gaps through the legal system.