The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Essay
The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, 499 words essay example
In 2009 President Obama signed into law the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (The Whitehouse, n.d.). The major provisions of this Act prohibits wage discrimination based on sex, race, or national origin among employees for work in equivalent jobs. According to National Committee on Pay Equity (n.d.), the Act defines "equivalent jobs are those who's composite of skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions are equivalent in value, even if the jobs are dissimilar." Today women earn roughly seventy-nine cents for every dollar earned by men. Atchinson, Belcher, and Thornsen (2013) state that women have entered the workforce not only because of increased educational opportunities but also because of the need for two paychecks in many families and the increase of single parent families which are usually headed by women. Because this pay inequity remains to be an ongoing issue in the United States, decreasing and eliminating the gender pay gap is important to women as well as families to be able to successfully earn a living in today's economy.
Equal Pay for Equivalent Jobs
From the definition of equivalent jobs above, it can be inferred that the Fair Pay Act expresses that that men and women be paid the same wages if they have the same value to the organization regardless of job content (Atchinson, Belcher & Thornsen, 2013). Another way of stating this would be it is how employees in an organization are equally paid in relation to those who perform similar jobs within their organization and in relation to those performing similar jobs in other organizations. There are several factors that must be considered. These factors include skill level, responsibility of the role, and working conditions.
One would think that the concept of equal pay for equal work is a fundamental human right. The Fair Act Law has as its goal to stop discrimination related to the under-valuation of work traditionally performed by women. Equal pay for women and men levels the playing field that has been suppressed by pay imbalances over the past decades. If people are, as we continually state, our most valuable resource, we should pay women in a way comparable to their worth as we do men in the job they perform.
Disclosure of Wages
In addition to equal pay, pay transparency both internally and externally is necessary to prevent the gender pay gap from worsening. Access to employees' salaries makes employees more aware of their value. When employees have a good understanding of salaries, they are more confident that they are being paid fairly. According to Lytle (2014), the transparency in pay has been driven by the wealth of information available on the Internet. There are several third-party websites such as Glassdoor.com, PayScale.com and Salary.com that release salary information. The Millennial generation, which is accustomed to sharing personal information through social networks, is also shaping the trend of pay transparency. By being transparent about salaries both internally and externally, an organization can protect itself from gender bias as well as race and orientation bias.