Local Politics

Political parties duel in Raleigh over equal pay for women

Posted June 12, 2012

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— Last week, the U.S. Senate rejected a bill that would require employers to prove that differences in employee pay were related to job performance and not gender. Republicans opposed it in a party-line vote, and that fight came to Raleigh Tuesday morning.

If North Carolina is a battleground state, the latest skirmish started at The Cupcake Shoppe on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. State Treasurer Janet Cowell represented Democrats, saying the Obama administration has been fighting for equal pay for women.

“Women are the ones who are taking care of the family, helping out, paying for college, taking care of relatives. They're more likely to be giving money out. They're not earning as much,” Cowell said.

Local businesswoman CJ Scarlet, CEO of Roving Coach International, blasted Senate Republicans for opposing the bill last week.

“Where was Mitt Romney? He was once again silent and bowing to the extreme conservatives in his party,” she said.

As that event wrapped up, anti-Romney protesters gathered down the street at the state Republican Party headquarters, chanting “Hey, hey, what do you say? Equal work for equal pay.”

GOP, Dem women take different roads to equal pay GOP, Dem women take different roads to equal pay

Inside, Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers agreed.

“That's an issue I want to continue to work on, but first, we have to get women jobs,” she said.

Ellmers hosted Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rogers, who is the Romney campaign's House liaison and was in Raleigh to raise money for Ellmers' political action committee.

McMorris-Rogers said no one disputes that women should be paid the same as men, but the bill the Senate rejected would do only one thing – “(open) up the door for trial lawyers that will make it harder for businesses to hire anyone, including women.”

Tuesday’s dueling press conferences were a reminder that both parties are angling for an edge on economic issues, especially with working women.

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  • starvingdog Jun 14, 2012

    Sorry folks. The law might say it's being applied to the same job, but the EEOC has never had a problem writing regulations that go far beyond the intent of legislation. It would seem reasonable that if an employer has documentation that shows good cause for a disparity that would be accepted. EEOC will rarely accept reasonable documentation. Their people will always be looking for minute reasons to reject any explanations and demand more proof that no reasonable person would expect, then offer to 'settle' for thousands of dollars...their ultra-liberal staff want equal pay for work 'of equal value' not 'equal work'. And they want to be the ones who decide the 'value'.

  • jumpnjacq21 Jun 13, 2012

    Are you kidding me? Janet is the biggest offender of no equal pay for employees. Last year I was released because I had a problem with a young man that reported to me as an intern getting hired 5 grades higher then my pay scale. When I complained an applied for the position that was posted I was released. I thought that once Janet knew the details I would be reinstated HA! Instead I was told that they wouldn't block my unemployment if I never applied for a position in the Treasurer's office again. I was actually told "You will be steamed rolled if you don't let this go, your unemployment will be blocked and you will never get a good reference". Does this sound like equal pay? Also when another Female applied for a position that was slated for a male she was written up and put on probation to keep her from applying for the position. The CIO at t he time stated “She is not getting that job” I asked if he wanted to see her resume as I had them on file and he simply said for what

  • Krimson Jun 13, 2012

    ConVoter: Do me a favor, and forward me your wife and daughter's resume via WRAL... I'd love to hire them since you feel its OK to pay them less than they are worth...

  • ConservativeVoter Jun 13, 2012

    "You can't be this ignorant, can you? That is absolutely NOT what the proposed law says. The laws says that IF there is a statistical disparity in pay, then the employer must show there are real business reasons for it. Different skill sets, accomplishments, experience etc are all completely reasonable and legal reasons for paying employees different amounts. If none of those real, legal reasons exist, then, and ONLY THEN, would the company be found guilty of discrimination.
    bill0"

    Another job killing law/regulation from Obama.

    The only people who benefit from this law will be the trial lawyers.

    Seeing that employers won't want to go to court with all of the legal expenses.

    One of two things will happen.

    They will pay everybody the same irregardless of skills and job performance.

    Or they will be less willing to hire women because of being afraid of being taken to court under this law.

  • bill0 Jun 13, 2012

    "This law says that women and men should receive the same pay for the same job regardless of skills and how hard you work and perform your job."

    You can't be this ignorant, can you? That is absolutely NOT what the proposed law says. The laws says that IF there is a statistical disparity in pay, then the employer must show there are real business reasons for it. Different skill sets, accomplishments, experience etc are all completely reasonable and legal reasons for paying employees different amounts. If none of those real, legal reasons exist, then, and ONLY THEN, would the company be found guilty of discrimination.

  • Krimson Jun 13, 2012

    "I'll use words like pander, socialism, unions and trial lawyers to justify the fact that I approve of the systematic discrimination suffered by women."

    Equal Pay has been mandate since 1963...

  • ConservativeVoter Jun 13, 2012

    This law is an attempt by Obama and the Democrats to pander to the Women's vote.

    There are already laws in place that protect women in the workplace without adding this law which will only exist to give trial lawyers something to do.

  • ConservativeVoter Jun 13, 2012

    This is the flawed thinking that Unions have and well as Obama's Socialist/Marxist believes have.

    In our society we have equality of opportunity, but not equality of outcome. The outcome is based on your skills and how hard you are willing to work to achieve your goals.

    This law says that women and men should receive the same pay for the same job regardless of skills and how hard you work and perform your job.

    The problems with Unions and this law is that they promote mediocrity. In a union shop and with this law there is no reason to work hard and excel because the poorest performer and the best performer receive the same salary based on job title.

  • loprestw Jun 13, 2012

    From a military stand point, men and women get the same pay depending upon rank but women do NOT do any of the same work men do! And this does cause problems with moral issues in the ranks. I can't imagine how it will effect the private sector and the bottom line.

  • bill0 Jun 13, 2012

    "unreal, aren't we past this yet? I don't know of ANY biz that pays different based on sex. The position pays what it pays and if you don't like it get another job. Come on"

    Actually, you know of a TON of businesses that pay women differently than men doing the same job. They just don't release salary data to the public, so you don't know about it.

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