Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on pay disparity should be viewed as a defeat for all working women. Harkin says the ruling makes it extremely difficult for women to pursue claims of pay discrimination, even when it’s flagrant. He says the key is that the ruling stipulates a pay discrimination suit has to be filed within 180 days of the person’s pay being set.
Harkin says: "This is totally out of touch with the real world of the work place. In the real world, pay scales are often kept secret. Employees are in the dark about their coworkers’ salaries. Lacking such information, it’s difficult to determine when pay discrimination begins."
Harkin, a Democrat, says he’s introduced what he calls the Fair Pay Act. Harkin says, "In addition to requiring that employers provide equal pay for equal jobs, my bill also requires disclosure of pay scales and rates for all job categories at a given company. This will give women the information they need to identify discriminatory pay practices and this could reduce the need for costly litigation in the first place." Harkin says American women earn, on average, 77-cents for every dollar earned by a man.