Let's all take a moment right now to appreciate why legislation like the Paycheck Fairness Act is needed for women and men to gain salary parity in the workplace.
During an appearance Wednesday on HuffPost Live, California state Senate candidate Sandra Fluke (D) argued that there seemed to be a "misunderstanding" surrounding what's at stake with the Paycheck Fairness Act, a piece of legislation that would close major loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and help to protect women facing gender-based salary discrimination in the workplace.
"Some folks don't understand why additional legislation is needed," Fluke said. "It's needed because we don't have good enforcement yet, and we want to give women the ability to actually know what someone else in the workplace is making and be able to bring suit to fix that problem."
Such information would be game changing. Currently, roughly 50 percent of private companies will fire employees for disclosing salary details to colleagues. The Paycheck Fairness Act allows employees to share salary details and ask openly about pay policies, creating far more transparent work environments.
As we've written before, caring about equal pay is crucial for women at all levels in the workforce. Though the gender pay gap is smaller right out of college than later in life, the disparity persists, and will result in longterm losses over the course of a lifetime.