Paycheck Fairness Act Voted Down by Senate Today

Article first published as Paycheck Fairness Act Voted Down Today in the Senate on Technorati.

The Paycheck Fairness Act failed today with a vote of 58 Yea’s, 41 Nay’s and 1 abstention.  It needed a 3/5 vote to pass.   Because I am an engineer, I did the math.  To pass, it needed 60% of the Senate to vote Yea.  The voted Yeas were 58.59%.  Prior to this, I never realized the tiny margin by which some of these bills pass or fail.

Lesson learned:  If you don’t think your vote counts, then think again.  It would only have taken 2 more Senators to pass this Bill.  That is one state’s worth.  Your vote may have made the difference between the Senator representing your state and their opponent.  Their opponent may have voted favorably on this Bill.

If you are unfamiliar with the Paycheck Fairness Act, the first sentence of the summary is:

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.

This bill was introduced by Senator Harry Reid (NV) along with 33 cosponsors in September 2010.    Although they did not cosponsor the bill, as a working woman, I was grateful that Colorado’s Senators Udall and Bennett both voted Yea.   Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to pass.

The following graph is courtesy of Radford.  As you can see, there is a distinct gap between male and female wages.

There are many different factors and ways to look at income.  However, for simple purposes, I am looking at the class of data that most closely represents my earning bracket and likely yours.

Per the US Census Bureau:

  • The mean income of males, of all races, 15 years and over, up to $250,000 per year = $41,750.
  • The mean income of females, of all races, 15 years and over, up to $250,000 per year = $25,373.

All I can say is “Darn.  I wish the Paycheck Fairness Act had passed.”

What does this mean to you?  Do you have any examples of gender based income inequality in your life?

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