By Reem Hamaida ’19
Equal pay is when everyone in the same workforce gets paid the same regardless of their gender or race. Former Wall Street executive Philip Murphy talked about making big changes to the current state policies now that he’s Governor of New Jersey. He began by giving an executive order to give both men and women equal pay for the same work in government run corporations.
Equal pay is an issue that has been discussed by Congress for decades. The Federal Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 made it illegal to favor a group of people by giving them more money for the same type and amount of work done in the same working field. However, that hasn’t bridged the pay gap.
Corporations are justifying the unequal pay by claiming that the pay is based on quality, quantity, merit and productivity of the work. Because of these claims, it’s nearly impossible to prove that companies are violating the EPA. This allows businesses to take advantage of the blood, sweat, and tears produced by women.
In 2016, the Census Bureau concluded that for every dollar a man makes, a white woman makes 79 cents; the numbers then decrease based on the race of the woman. For a black woman it’s 60 cents and for a hispanic woman it’s 55 cents.
Newly elected Governor Philip Murphy made his first executive order, which allows equal pay between men and women in the same public jobs. He did that in hopes of decreasing the size of the pay gap in New Jersey.
The governor would also like to extend this to private corporations if he can. He sees this extension improving the economy.
Philip Murphy said, “We don’t have to wait to make our economy stronger and fairer, to attack income inequality, and to protect and grow our middle class,”
Although Governor Murphy took a big step toward gender equality it is still not enough. New Jersey is just one state and many of the states aren’t planning on making changes.
Now that it’s 2018, it’s a problem that there is still a gap between the pay of men and women that do the same job. People must be aware of this problem because awareness is the first step to fixing such a problem.
People must get involved and educated about the pay gap. The more awareness this issue gets, the bigger the chance of change.
Unfortunately, there is no fixed solution to this kind of problem. The owners of public corporations need morals because this is a matter of fairness, and not so much a legal question. The idea of men being superior to women is centuries old; however, women overcame many obstacles to prove they are equal.
Although this issue cannot be automatically fixed, regular citizens can email or write letters to the governors and mayors of their state addressing the issue, their opinion, and a plan to fix it.
How could this country stand for equality if its citizens aren’t getting paid equally?
If everyone makes an effort to equalize pay, then it will happen. Let’s bridge the gap!