National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force
National Equal Pay Enforcement took its root from the moment, when the President John F. Kennedy signed the Act, allowing women to have equal rights to be paid the same amount as men did. After that, the very next year, Title VII from the Civil Rights Act (1964) was followed. It was agreed upon that women discrimination based on race, sex, ethnicity, color, nations origin, and religion was totally unacceptable. Nowadays, 50 years since the Equal Pay Act was signed, the average womens salary is about 77 cents to what men are paid. Experts and specialists in the area of finance state that the following is explained by nondiscriminatory factors and the concept that equal salary remains unrealized.
When the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Act was signed in 2009 by the U.S. President Barack Obama, it satisfied the campaign promise and approved the commitment to give women the equal rights. The Lilly Ledbetter Act helped to restore the interpretation of laws paying discrimination claim accrues. It helped to avoid discrimination whenever it occurred. Whenever discriminatory pay and decision affect an employee, they can turn to the law and act for justice in order to get their fair share and paycheck. Lilly Ledbetter Act became the most significant step concerning equal pay and administrations pursuit.
Additionally, effective enforcement has been supported by equal pay and all kinds of civil right laws with the help of city budgets aimed at enforcement agencies for civil rights. An 11% increase concerning the Department of Justice and Civil Rights Division was provided in the 2011 Fiscal Year in comparison to the 18% increase of the last years division budget. A program of Labors Office and Federal Contract Compliance funding is increased by 10% of Presidents Budget. The Commission of equal opportunity receives 5% bonus increase additionally to the last years increase. Taking into account the increases, just like Barack Obama promised, it is better to enforce the laws of equal pay. The President keeps on supporting Paycheck Fairness Act, the one he already cosponsored in Senate. Task Force of National Pay Enforcement concerning the presidents pledge in the Unions state addresses to fight the violations of laws equal pay. Taking into account the latter instance, the Administration resorted to creating the NEPETF (National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force). It brings together several organizations like EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), the DOJ (Department of Justice), DOL (Department of Labor) and OPM (Office of Personnel Management.)
Improvements and Challenges in the Area of Payment
Despite the fact that many laws exist and address the equality of payment, Task Force is the first one to have identified five considerable challenges in the area of payment. It made recommendation concerning addressing every single challenge. Also, it helped developing action plans concerning the recommendations implementations.
1) All three federal agencies are targeted to distinguish the responsibility concerning enforcing laws, which prohibit discrimination in payments. Still the agencies do not coordinate the responsibilities. Task Force came up with the identification of particular areas where highly coordinated actions of the agencies will be taken to improve investigations and certain enforcement abilities. Recommendation of the mechanisms adaption concerning facilitating the coordination will be required.
2) Government is able to understand the full underlying causes of wage gaps. It can also identify and fight discrimination in wages. The following can be improved by accessing more data than are currently available. Recommendations are offered by the Task Force concerning data collection targets. Also, enforcement abilities enhancement is offered by the Task Force. Still, at the time they are limiting the employer burdens.
3) Most employees and their employers are not correctly informed and educated concerning their rights and obligations in retrospect to wage discrimination. The Task Force has developed a plan for both employers and employees concerning education programs on the correct way and right to pay everyone equally. Task Force is also responsible for federal employees training improvement and wage discrimination identification, investigation and prosecution.
4) GAO (Government Accountability Office) came up with 11% wage gap between womens and mens salaries in the federal workforce. Task Force came up with directing both EEOC and OPM to work with GAO in order to identify and to clarify wage gap reasons and certain ways to close it.
5) Already existing laws rarely provide ways to battle the wage discrimination. Administration fully stands for Paycheck Fairness Act, closing loopholes in Equal Pay Act. The latter one provides employers with an unjustified defense concerning their discriminatory conducts. It also strengthens prohibitions in retaliation and tries to make sure that female individuals obtain the same remedies according to Equal Pay Act as under any other laws to the ones subjected to wage discrimination on various bases.
Social and Economic Progress. Persistent Pay Gap
Female individuals made a considerable step forward since the Equal Pay Act was established. In 2012, the women force participation rate in labor was about 51.7%. It was 50% higher from what it used to be in the early 1960s. In 1960, there were barely 15% of women in managerial positions. Closer to 2009, there were about 40% women in the position of a manager. The ratio between womens and mens annual earnings narrowed from 59 cents for a $1 for men in 1963 to 77 cents in the beginning of 2011. The progress in education for women who outnumbered men concerning their attainment of Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral Degrees has gained the earning power. Fifty years after the Act was established, a gap in pay still remains vital. Studies have shown that a considerable portion of the wage gap is not to be clearly explained, because such factors as labor market experience along with job characteristics should be fully controlled.
The womens movement to the top in entrepreneurial ranks brought new earning opportunities for women. Economic Census of 1972 confirmed that 486,009 firms were directed by women. By 1982, the number reached 2,612,621. The receipts, owned by women directors approached $101,856,490. There were 1,254,588 people employed with payroll costs of approximately $11,561,025. Recently, in 2007, the Business Owners Census Survey stated that the business ownership of women embodies at least quarter of all businesses throughout the country and came up to be about $1.2 trillion in business receipts.
In 2007, the number of employees who worked in firms owned by women came up to 7.6 million, where about half of them (45.9%) were owned by women who were engaged in industries of repair, maintenance, laundry, personal services, health care and social assistance. One has to give credit for womens successful participation in professional, scientific and technical services.
Inequality still Remains Vital
However, there are still remains of the full inequality such as occupation segregation and certain social barriers. Despite the fact that working women have gained success in various areas, the workforce still suffers certain injustices. In many cases, it is characterized by occasional occupational segregation where men and women are distributed into different kinds of jobs. Part IV of this research paper analyzes the potential impacts of segregation in occupations on the basis of the pay gap and on certain ways when federal agencies attempt to tackle the problem without taking it seriously.
About two-thirds working women had jobs in service, clerical and sales positions in 1960. As a matter of fact, 13% of them held professional jobs. Even these jobs were traditional ones like teaching and nursing. No doubt, even newspaper highly classified section listed jobs for men and women separately. This practice has existed for decades. Ever since womens educational attainment gained its popularity in 1980s, so did the womens movement. Women started having higher-paying professional jobs. Also, they gained popularity in management jobs. Women compose half of employed workers in this sector. Yet, even nowadays, female individuals are more likely to work in the occupations where most of the workers are women. This includes the field of healthcare, education and fields of human services. Additionally, 50% of all women are still employed in low-paying sales like service and various administrative support positions. Though having gained popularity and success in many management fields, women still are not able to go in hand with men in other untraditional working fields like transportation, science, technology and construction. Neither it is easy for female individuals to make a career in engineering, mathematics or other similar fields.
Additionally, it is vital to point out the differences in gender in many occupations. They are based on ethnicity, race and maternity. For instance, White and Asian female individuals are twice as likely to make a career in high-paying jobs such as management as their Black and Hispanic colleagues. Black and Hispanic women are more likely to end up working at lower-paying jobs and end up among the working poor social class. Children mothers under the age of 18 have lesser chances to earn as much as other women in the same position.
Gap Closure. Most Essential Things at Stake
Closing the pay gap may sound as a wrong thing to do. However, it is an economic necessity. Closing the gap brings broad benefits and allows reducing poverty. Growing middle class is more than the right thing to do. Citizens ought to boost their nations economic growth. Many specialists in the field of economics agree that inequality reduction is a net positive. It enables the individual workers get better jobs and higher salary, and affect the economy in the best possible way.When the country prevents many young and capable talents from working, it unfairly treats them and thus limits employment and wage prospects. The entire social classes of people suffer these inequalities and injustices. Recent decades have demonstrated that the U.S. economic inequality concerning females has dramatically fallen. Though the situation improved, the inequality remains disproportionate on young women and minorities. For instance, the decline in the minimum wage has had a dramatic effect on female individuals. Based on the Labors Chief Economist Department statistics, an average 25-year-old female employed full time has already earned $5,000 fewer during the course of her working career than an average 25-year-old male. If the earning gap does not change, by the age of 65 years the woman will have lost more than $100,000 throughout her whole working lifetime. Fewer dollars made by different families, and their working relatives would mean a great loss in the sphere of economic security when certain families cannot afford earning less.
Since 1960s, women ascended the paid labor force. They did it in record numbers. The share of those participating in paid labor force increased from 38% in 1960 to a little over 57% in 2012. In 2012, female workers contributed 65% to family income. Among those having children the share became larger than 70%. Family outcomes are to be improved. This would help to reduce the number of those living in poverty and indigence. Poverty rates would go down if female hourly wages were increased by no more than 10%. Though the increase would not close the gap, it would play a considerable role in the improvement of the situation. In 2011, about 46.2 million citizens lived in poverty. Nearly 16 million of them were children. Raising womens wages by at least 10% could pull at least 1.3 million of these people out of poverty. More than half of them would be children.Occupational segregation reduction would help individual workers, their families and the economy on the whole. Inequality reduction means for an individual worker seeing personal gains and ability to make a career and being employed anywhere. Economic prospects improvement for millions American workers increase demands and causes of a boost in job creation.
Recent paper by Hsieh, Hurst, Jones and Klenow points out that 20% of the whole aggregate wage growth in 1960-2008 happened as a result of the occupational barriers choice decline. Employers, benefitting from equal society, stand for this society. In this case, workers are better matched to jobs. Workplaces, this way, are provided to diversified talents that are wanted by the successful companies of the 21st global economy century.
A person who works hard leads to a good living for all citizens. Workers are to know what they are worth and be able to be employed wherever they choose. Federal agencies must watch closely for the right of equal pay. They have got to make certain that all employees work under the same rules. Employers have to share the same practices everywhere. These practices have to be the best in terms of providing equal opportunities to citizens throughout the whole country. Closing the wage gap would take less than 50 years. Marking Equal Pay Day, Barack Obama said, Fairness and opportunity are undermined by wage inequalities. This is not upon what our country was founded. After 50 years of signing Equal Pay Act, the country has taken vital steps concerning fulfilling the promise. However, the journey is not over yet. Pausing to honor the anniversary, it is fair to recommit oneself to closing the gap one time, forever and for everyone.