The Wage Gap Is Not A Metric Of “Equal Pay For Equal Work”
- Equal Pay Day purportedly represents widespread sexism and discrimination against women. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the raw wage gap by comparing the median salary for all male and female full-time wage and salary workers.
- In 2020, they found that female workers earned 82 percent compared to male workers. In other words, women earn 82 cents to each dollar that men earn.
- This argument overlooks the many factors that contribute to the wage gap such as seniority, education, hours, and working conditions.
In The Wage Gap Is Not Evidence of Discrimination
- Sex-based discrimination is already illegal in the U.S. A woman’s right to earn equal pay for equal work is protected by the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Legal protections that go above and beyond the basic guarantee to equal pay for equal work often focus on how victims of discrimination can bring lawsuits against employers.
- The proposed Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) would not outlaw discrimination but would encourage more lawsuits and increase government oversight over businesses’ compensation decisions.
Equal Pay Day Is Worse Than Meaningless, It’s Misleading
- When assessing the status of women (and all people) in the labor force, measures should focus on the degree of opportunities available rather than outcomes.
- Policies should champion greater opportunities, flexibility, and freedom by reducing taxes and regulations and making it easier for people to start businesses and find a diversity of income-earning opportunities.
- Women should be free to make informed choices about their lives and livelihoods. Many women (and men) will choose to trade higher pay for different benefits or greater work-life balance. These choices fuel the wage gap, but they are not bad choices.
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