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Mikulski Promotes Paycheck Fairness Act

Full-time female employees make an average 77 cents for each dollar earned by male counterparts

In Maryland, men who work full time make an average of $140 more per week than women, according to data compiled by the congressional Joint Economic Committee. Nationally, the pay gap is even greater at $148.

Over the course of a year, that's nearly a $7,700 difference in wages.

In an effort to close the income gap in Maryland and across the country, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) is busy promoting the Paycheck Fairness Act, scheduled for a Senate debate Tuesday.

In a telephone conference call with the press, Mikulski said the act advances pay equality beyond measures established in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first piece of legislation signed by President Obama (D) when he took office in 2009.

The Ledbetter Act allows female employees to sue employers for back pay. The Paycheck Fairness Act would also allow them to seek punitive damages and would prohibit employers from retaliating against them for sharing salary information with coworkers.

"American women are mad as hell," Mikulski said. "They're ready to fight."

Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to Obama, said, "We're committed to the basic idea that equal pay for equal work is not a luxury, it's a necessity."

"You have the president's full support," Jarrett told Mikulski on the call.

Laurie June 05, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Never have understood why so many of you think free markets are good for anyone other than owners. America is sliding into feudalism and the 99 Percenters are greasing the skids.
Billy the moderate June 05, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Of course.. because the lack of free markets in countries such as North Korea, Cuba, and the former Soviet Union has really benefited so much of their populace and made those countries so much more wealthy than the USA. People are certainly equally poor in these countries with the exception of party leaders who decide and control many matters regarding the means of production in the absence of a free market economy as we have. See how well things have worked out for the average person in these utopian ideal societies and why their governments have to build walls to keep their people from escaping such paradise while we build walls to keep people out of our country, right? There is a difference between our society and others from a historical perspective - what has made us the largest and strongest economy ever is the opportunity our country provides its citizens in terms of enforcing property rights, the rule of law, and a reasonably level playing field where people can acquire the marketable skills needed to reach their potential regardless of social background. Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome and some people will fail. "Fairness", "Equality", and other buzz words are the language of social engineers and utopians - they are irrational in theory and practice as they fail to take into consideration the complexities of the individual and historical precedent. The 99%'ers STILL have a better shot at success here than elsewhere.
Jeff Hawkins June 05, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I saw a survey on TV the other day that suggested that women coming out of College were making more money than their male counterparts, they took more classes or something like that. Perhaps the it's the number of women who are employed in traditionally lower paying careers or jobs that are drawing down the numbers? It comes down to the "individual" to succeed.........
John Naughton June 05, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Get rid of Cardin, maybe Mikulski will get a hint. Perhaps she and her dem friends could stop stealing from everyone's children and grandchildren.
Bora Mici June 06, 2012 at 11:46 PM
The question remains - why do women make less on a national scale?

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