News / USA

Anti-Pay Discrimination Bill Blocked in US Senate

President Barack Obama signs executive actions, with pending Senate legislation, aimed at closing a compensation gender gap that favors men, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Washington, during an event marking Equal Pay Day.
President Barack Obama signs executive actions, with pending Senate legislation, aimed at closing a compensation gender gap that favors men, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Washington, during an event marking Equal Pay Day.
Michael Bowman
The U.S. Senate has failed to advance a bill intended to make it harder for employers to pay men more than women for the same work. The bill is one element of a partisan battle over America’s economic fortunes, with Democrats and Republicans staking out starkly different agendas before midterm elections in November.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, American women earn on average 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. That has to change, according to Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.

“In 99.6 percent of all occupations, men get paid more than women," she said. "That is not an accident; that is discrimination.”

Among other provisions, the Paycheck Fairness Act would boost transparency by protecting employees from retaliation if they reveal their wages to coworkers. Currently, many employers bar their workers from comparing salaries, effectively hiding any disparities.

Democratic Senator Richard Durbin says gender-based pay discrimination punishes women well beyond their working years.

“It is not just less take-home pay for women doing the same job, it means fewer social security benefits when they retire," he said. "They are not earning at the same level as men. They pay for it for a lifetime.”

Democrats are also advocating a raise in the national minimum wage and an extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed. All face significant opposition from Republicans, who accuse Democrats of political posturing to disguise America’s lackluster economic performance under President Barack Obama. Senator John Thune says, “Democrats are playing politics with equal pay and attempting to distract from the real harm that their policies have done to women."

"Right now, there are 3.7 million more women living in poverty than there were when the president took office," he said. "If Democrats were really serious about helping women, they would work with us [Republicans] on bills to create jobs and to expand workplace opportunities for women - and for men, as well.”

Thune said the bill would mire employers in costly litigation that would benefit lawyers more than working women. Senator Durbin disagreed, and said voters will weigh in on the issue in November, when one third of the Senate and all seats in the Republican-led House of Representatives will be contested.

“The American people will have the last word," he said. "They will have it in the election. They can decide if this is important.”

No Republican senators voted with majority Democrats to begin debate on the bill, which fell seven votes shy of the 60 required. The vote came one day after President Barack Obama ordered paycheck protections for workers employed by companies that do business with the federal government.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: labman57 from: labman57@comcast.net
April 09, 2014 9:15 PM
Republicans regard the problems and concerns of socio-economically disadvantaged American families, middle class working women, Latinos, and the LGBT community to be a "distraction" from what really matters -- their ongoing quest to increase the economic divide between the ultra-wealthy ... and everyone else.


by: Ames Jofman from: Jofmanville
April 09, 2014 2:56 PM
Another Liberal Screw job. They have you so fooled it is amazing. The decepticon Democrats. Not so liberal afterall.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
AppleAndroid