Sunday, October 21, 2012

Newsflash Dems: Equal Pay Has Been the Law for Almost 50 years.

The Prez is now going around suggesting that Romney is opposed to Equal Pay for Equal Work for Women.  He says Romney wouldn't sign an act requiring that.  So, I, as a woman will now say, unequivocally, neither would I if I were president.  For the very simple reason that there is and has been such a law on the books since 1963.  That will be 50 years come next year.  And, in fact, we also have Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which also prohibits, inter alia,  discrimination in pay not only for women but also based on race, religion, or  national origin . (Other laws address disability and age).  So when you have not only one but two laws on the books, why would you sign another one.

If you have been hearing about the Lily Ledbetter act and thinking that that act prohibited, for the first time, pay discrimination, let me give you a link and an education.   I have given you a very left wing link so that you cannot suspect that the link understates the importance of the act.  Some would argue that the act was unecessary because the Supreme Court specifically stated, in footnote 10 of its opinion that they were not addressing a situation in which the plaintiff did not discover the discrimination until after the statute for filing a claim would otherwise have passed, BECAUSE THE PLAINTIFF ( I. E. LEDBETTER) NEVER RAISED THAT ISSUE IN HER ARGUMENT.   In other words, Ms. Ledbetter never told the U. S. Supreme Court what she told the Democratic Convention, which is that she didn't know about the discrimination until a long time after it happened.  Those same people would argue that the reason she didn't raise the issue is that she testified at her deposition that she did know about it.

So, I have already gotten too deep into the weeds here.  Because my real point is that the Democratic party has been running on the equal pay for equal work plank for all of my adult life and all of my adult life (I turned 21 in 1964) it has been illegal to discriminate against women in pay.  This is like running on a promise to ban drunk driving.  Dude.  It's already against the law.

Which leads to the really important question that no one ever asks Mr. Obama.  Given that discrimination is already illegal, what have you done to enforce the law?  Um, based on the statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the answer is less than his predecessor in office.  Yep. More litigation was filed by the EEOC when George Bush was Prez than under Obama.  I am not making this up.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the entity that has responsibility for enforcing the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1965.  It is the place to look to find out if the government is actually serious about enforcing this law.

In the first three years of the Bush administration, 1220 lawsuits were filed by the EEOC.  In the first three years of the Obama administration, 885 discrimination lawsuits were filed.  I used the first three years because that is the time period for which statistics are available for the Obama administration.  These are lawsuits filed on any statute which the EEOC enforces so they include lawsuits alleging only race or national origin discrimination as well sex discrimination lawsuits.  Go ahead and look at the statistics.  The summary of the statistics is this-- he talks a good game but he doesn't deliver.  He promised you everything and you didn't even get Arpege.  (You have to be over 40 to recognize that joke)

Here is the most interesting statistic if we are talking about the Lily Ledbetter Act.  Only 6 of the lawsuits filed by the Obama administration were filed under the Equal Pay Act.  6.  That's not 6 a year.  That's 6 in three years.  And, the lack of litigation does NOT reflect an improvement in the discrimination situation, not, at least, if you consider the number of charges filed to be an indicator of how much discrimination is going on.  There were more charges ( i. e. claims of discrimination) filed in the first three years of the Obama administration than in the first three years of the Bush administration. In the first three years of the Obama administration 2905 Equal Pay Act charges were filed.  Yet only 6 lawsuits were filed.

Yeah, Ms. Ledbetter, Obama really cares about the issue of equal pay for equal work.  That awful Bush guy filed   38 Equal Pay Act lawsuits  in the first three years of his Administration. That's more than six times as many.  If you measure who cares by how much they do to actually change the situation, Republicans care more about women's rights, by far, than Democrats do.

And for those who have read some of my other posts, I first learned that when I worked at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  The Democrats thought it was a place to collect a government paycheck.  When the Republicans were elected, they thought all those EEOC employees should be spending their days enforcing the law.  And they demanded production of ummm lawsuits that actually benefited people who were discriminated against.

So the point is Mr. Obama, that  you talk loudly, but you carry a very little stick.

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