Government
9:03 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Kentucky Senators Help Block Paycheck Fairness Act

Kentucky’s two Republican senators yesterday helped their party block the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have given women new tools to combat pay discrimination in the workforce. 

Kentucky women make just seventy seven cents to every dollar a man makes. The same holds true nationally. To shrink that gap Democrats offered the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is intended to protect women who want to compare their salaries with the men they work with in order to see if there’s a disparity. And it forces employers to prove any salary differences are job-related – not gender based. But Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul says the legislation would do more harm than good.

“The marketplace decides what wages are. No one person does. But the minute you set up a fairness czar to determine what wages are you give away freedom and you give that power to someone to make decisions, they may well discriminate in favor of whoever they want to discriminate in favor of. The market just makes decisions on your ability to do your job,” says Paul.

And Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell – the Republican leader in the Senate – argues the bill would do more for trial lawyers than women.

“It’s an open secret that the plaintiffs’ bar has been an active supporter of Democrats all along. Their view is America suffers from not enough litigation,” says McConnell.

Analysts say the defeat of the Paycheck Fairness Act paints an even starker contrast between the two parties on gender issues ahead of this November’s elections.