WTVM 4/11/14 Editorial: The Paycheck Fairness Act

WTVM 4/11/14 Editorial: The Paycheck Fairness Act

(WTVM) - Fairness is a big buzzword right now.

You hear it everywhere in politics, especially in the titles of legislation, like the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the Student Loan Fairness Act, and the Medicaid Fairness Act.

And why not use the word fairness?

It sounds good. Fairness is important.

But the latest attempt to legislate fairness just shows how hard it really is.

The Paycheck Fairness Act was sold as a way to force companies to pay women the same as men. It ended up going nowhere.

Enough Senate Democrats and Republicans voted "no" and defeated it -- despite a big PR push. This time, the "no votes" got it right.

Plenty of non-discrimination laws already exist and they are vigorously enforced.

When it comes to mandating equal pay, the Paycheck Fairness Act sounded good, but it would have made any pay differences between men and women for any reason grounds for a lawsuit - and that would cripple job creation.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 already provides for equal pay for men and women who do exactly the same job with exactly the same experience.

But if you have more experience than the next worker, no matter their gender, or if you have specialized skills that the employer values, you should be paid more.

Fairness always sounds nice, but in the real world--away from Washington-- women and men trying to get ahead don't want to be lumped in with everyone else.

They want to be judged on their own achievements and be paid for it.

Now that's what I call fair.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
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