The Paycheck Fairness Act, already passed by the House, is headed to the Senate for a vote tomorrow. President Obama calls it a “common-sense bill” that would make it easier for women to file class-action suits against employers accused of sex-based pay discrimination and require companies to be more cognizant of pay practices. The ACLU says it’s a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and is urging Senators to pass it. Critics argue that we don’t need new legislation because existing laws already protect women and that there is no epidemic of gender discrimination anyway. The bill’s sponsors contend that women only earn 77% as much as men, according to the Bureau of labor Statistics. Why do women still earn less than men? And what’s the best way close the wage gap?
Lisa Maatz, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, American Association of University Women and advocate for the Paycheck Fairness Act
June O’Neil, Professor of Economics at Baruch college; adjunct scholar at American Enterprise Institute; member of the National Bureau of Economic Research; former director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1995-1999