equal-pay.jpgWomen have been sounding off about the wage gap for years but now we might get more voices joining the chorus.

The recession has been hardest on men in this country, and many have lost their jobs. That’s meant in many households the women are the only ones bringing home the bacon.

So, suddenly, the fact that women make 77 cents on the dollar to men really sucks. Yeah, it sucked before, but now whole families are suffering for it even more, or at least feeling the impact more pronouncedly.

For those of you who are rolling your eyes and saying, “here goes another feminazi bitching about pay equity. That’s all just propaganda. The problem isn’t that bad.”

I’ve got a feminazi bitch-slap reality check for ya.

The past several years have been particularly bad for women and their pay.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, gender-based wage discrimination charges have spiked by 30 percent.

The figure was disclosed in testimony given by EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru who testified earlier this month before the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in favor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“The wage gap is alive and well in America,” Ishimaru said.

The Paycheck Act is something all women, and men, should keep a close eye on.

This from the National Committee on Pay Equity:

The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.12 and S.182) was introduced January 2009 by then-Senator Hillary Clinton and Rep. Rosa DeLauro to strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The bill expands damages under the Equal Pay Act and amends its very broad fourth affirmative defense. In addition, the Paycheck Fairness Act calls for a study of data collected by the EEOC and proposes voluntary guidelines to show employers how to evaluate jobs with the goal of eliminating unfair disparities.

It’s critical because there still is an abundance of bias against women in the workplace when it comes to pay, and the system seems skewed against them.

“Many workers operate under strict instructions not to discuss their pay with their co-workers, and fear retaliation if they go against those instructions,” said Ishimaru in his testimony. “For this reason, many people earn less for potentially discriminatory reasons for many years without knowing it, just as Lilly Ledbetter [the Act that expanded time individuals have to bring a wage bias claim] did until an anonymous co-worker left her a note telling her the salaries of some of her male peers. These policies that prevent workers from discussing pay create a serious barrier to charge filing under our equal pay laws.”

This is one reason I believe we need to be more open with each other when it comes to pay. I know, it’s not nice to talk about money, but how the heck will we resolve these issues if we don’t make the whole system more transparent.

It really makes me sad that after all these years women still haven’t gotten what they deserve — a fair paycheck.

EEOC spokesman David Grinberg summed the situation up perfectly, and he’s that other gender:

“This is a serious and lingering problem that may get overlooked by employers, or which some may incorrectly assume is a non-issue in the 21st century workplace - nearly half a century after passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963.”

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