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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid