By Koby Heramil |Editor-in-chief|
President Barack Obama along with Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers motioned for Congress to discuss issues that matter to women.
The president’s agenda seeks to close the gender wage gap.
I agree with President Obama when he stated in his weekly address, “That’s wrong. In 2014, it’s an embarrassment. Women deserve equal pay for equal work.”
One way Obama is ensuring that women are paid fairly is through an executive order that prohibits employers from punishing their employees from discussing wages in public.
Employees already have the right to discuss wages at work under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) also known as the Wagner Act.
The bill was made in 1935 and basically states that employees have the right to talk about wages with coworkers.
This means that employers have no right in prohibiting their employees from discussing work wages.
The right to engage in such topics like wages and salaries are particularly necessary for females. Women should be paid equally for doing the same job as a man.
On average, full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to the White House website.
That statistic is an embarrassment considering how far America has come in ensuring women’s rights.
Ashley Woods a student at CSUSB mentions that not much has been done to really equalize rights for women.
“Work pay needs to be equalized. It’s not fair that because we’re women we get paid less than our male counterparts. Everyone is for the idea of becoming equal, but no ones really doing anything about it,” said Woods.
Employers who know about this bill and don’t inform their workers are justifying women getting paid less although females make up nearly half the workforce.
Some workplaces have a “pay secrecy” policy prohibiting employees from discussing wages; however, this policy is illegal.
Furthermore, employers do not suffer much of a cost when they are caught violating the NLRA.
According to NPR, Cynthia Estlund, a law professor at New York University ,said, “Employers caught violating the law have to offer certain remedies which are typically not very serious.”
However, with the president’s executive order, employers face a higher punishment—one that hurts the wallet.
If a federal worker is fired from talking about pay at work, the company could lose a federal contract and a lot of money. The company will even have to offer the job back.
Student Brianna Jointer thinks employees should not be reprimanded for discussing work pay with coworkers.
“I discuss work pay with my coworkers all the time. We compare who works the most and who gets paid more even though they don’t work as much. And that’s something that we as people have the right to do. We shouldn’t be told to shut up or be threatened about losing our jobs,” said Jointer.
People like Woods and Jointer are hoping this promotion for equal pay at work will make an initiative in women’s rights.
The president gave his thoughts on transparency in the workplace and said, “Pay secrecy fosters discrimination and we should not tolerate it.”
The idea of equal pay for equal work should be implemented and needs to be done now.