Closing the gap on equal pay by silencing your salary history, is now law in 9 areas across the U.S., including 7 states.
Author: Jose Zavala
One of the vast, significant milestones our country has validated, occurred in the 20th century, on August the 26th, 1920. This victory became the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Women were finally guaranteed the right to vote. Additionally, suffragist leader, Alice Paul, introduced the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), in 1923. The driving catalyst was to birth, “equal justice under law”, to all citizens.
Fast forward. The women’s rights movements of the 1960’s, and its tsunami style momentum that crusaded over into the 1970’s. A revolution of sorts by its own definition, it led the way to the re-introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), in 1971. Finalizing a battle over half a century old, the senate passed the bill on March 26th, 1972.
If these achievements can be measured by landscape, they would fall no less than the tip of the highest mountains. You would need the most advanced telescopes to see the stretch of roads it took to get there. Yet, you still need another set of power binoculars to distance how far we still need to go.
Now in the 21st century, and the introduction of the millennial age, technology and all, the fight for equal rights is more alive than ever. Symbolic laws have been embraced, while antiquated, unfashionable laws, have been buried into extinction.
Equal Pay for Equal Work, is the new norm, not just in verbiage, but in stone. (The Equal Pay Act of 1963 has guaranteed it.) While we are all guaranteed this, “evenness”, by law, the fact remains that men get paid 20% more than women. Lydia Belanger, Associate Editor for Entrepreneur, wrote that, “The state with the widest gender pay gap is Louisiana, where the average man earns $15,238 more than the average woman per year.” Women make 30% less on the dollar than men do in the Pelican State.
Additionally, Lydia also gave us a glimpse into the flip side. She noted that states like, California and New York, are striving forward by entering new laws. Such as those that ban employers from asking, or inquiring, on previous work salaries to negotiate new applicants. She noted, “If a woman was underpaid at her last job, her pay at her next job should not be based off the previous figure.” And so, it was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Rizo vs. Yovino, in April of 2018.
Rizo vs. Yovino, brought light to one of the most impact full elements that gives reason to the salary question ban. “Continuous Discrimination”. I’ll break this down in simple terms.
If Mary’s previous salary had any form of discrimination, embedded in it, using that previous salary as reference to future employment salary, continues the discrimination. Thus, making this illegal, and unequal. Furthermore, it was argued that, “Prior salary does not fit within the catchall exception because it is not a legitimate measure of work experience, ability, performance, or any other job-related quality.” In other words. What does salary history have to do with the actual job? Nothing.
Faithfully, not only the courts, but the people, support the advances and the realities that, “we are all created equal”. Thus, respectfully, and at times, chaotically, demanding equal pay. So, by reason of birth, in the greatest and fairest country, the world has ever known, it is only right, to pay it forward.
In conclusion, the amount of steps that have been stamped in the sand by limitless women and man, as we march for equality, still fall short of where they need to be today. Equal pay? 20% short. Unethical, silent discrimination? A century behind.
With that being said, remarkably, we are 80% there! A magnificent achievement, and by a dominating, monumental part, “Powered by Women”. Who’s the boss?
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