, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

March 6, 2014

It's a Job Gap, Not a Wage Gap

It's a Job Gap, Not a Wage Gap

As women and as Human Resources professionals, we believe the national and statewide Democrat agenda surrounding Paycheck Equity is unnecessary and misleading.

It is against the law to pay women differently than men based on their gender. This law has been in effect for over fifty years, under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and also under New Hampshire's own Equal Pay legislation going back to 1947.

We would know personally, because we have over forty years of combined experience overseeing Human Resources, recruitment and compensation activities in New Hampshire companies. We take these laws very seriously and have not seen wage discrimination in our professional careers. Employers know - not only is it against the law, but it also is bad policy when you are trying to attract and retain the very best employees for an organization.

We have learned there have been very little complaints in New Hampshire. In fact, there have been no charges under our state Equal Pay statute over the last twenty years. The NH Labor Department knows of only three investigations, all of which were dismissed when employers showed legitimate reasons for disparity in pay between employees. The Attorney General's office and the Human Rights Commission haven't tracked complaints or violations under the law, but knew of only two cases ever being opened when asked.

Bills such as HB1188 and SB207, currently in the state legislature, do little to fix a real problem or help women; instead they advance the notion that the workplace is hostile to women and reinforce the idea that women are in need of protection.

The Democrat talking point - as heard from President Obama, Governor Hassan, Speaker Norelli and Senate Minority Leader Larsen - is that women are paid seventy-seven cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men. These statistics represent an average of ALL men and women in ALL full-time jobs across the country. Making such a broad brush statement without understanding the basis behind it shows how some don't want to discuss the facts and instead are looking to create a false hysteria.

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