Equal Pay Opponent Pence’s Indiana Has 10th Largest Gender Pay Gap Nationally

With Governor Mike Pence in charge, it’s no surprise that Indiana women aren’t receiving equal pay for equal work. Pence has been a longtime opponent of equal pay, voting three times against the Paycheck Fairness act and three time against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act while in Congress.

Here’s Pence’s impact after four years as governor: a recent study from The American Association of University Women has found that Indiana has “one of the largest gender pay gaps” in the country, according to the IndyStar. In the Hoosier state, “women earn just 76 percent of what men earn,” the 10th largest gender pay gap across the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Pence had an opportunity to support legislation that would guarantee women receive fair wages in Congress, or at the very least guarantee due process to fight back against employer discrimination. But apparently Pence — who’s said working mothers cause their kids to have “stunted emotional growth” and thought a $7.25 minimum wage too high — had no interest in guaranteeing women fair treatment in the workplace.

Maybe that’s why misogynist Donald Trump, who thinks “putting a wife to work is a dangerous thing,” wanted Pence as his running mate.

Mike Pence: Equal Pay Opponent

Pence opposed equal pay legislation:

  • Pence voted three times against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allowed for wronged employees to be paid back wages.
  • Pence voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, voted against requiring employers to prove that instances of unequal pay were job-related, and voted to cap attorneys’ fees against employers found liable under the Paycheck Fairness Act.
  •  Pence said that a growing economy and “creating an environment that encourages more investment” and “job opportunities” was the best way to achieve equal pay.

PENCE OPPOSED EQUAL PAY LEGISLATION

Pence Voted Three Times Against The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

2009: Pence Voted Against The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Which Expanded The Deadline To File Wage Discrimination Lawsuits. In 2009, Pence voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allowed lawsuits for pay discrimination to be filed within 180 days of any discrimination-affected paycheck, even if the paycheck was the result of discrimination that occurred more than 180 days ago. The bill effectively overturned the Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. According to the New York Times, in that case, “A jury found [Ledbetter’s] employer, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Gadsden, Ala., guilty of pay discrimination. But in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court threw out the case, ruling that she should have filed her suit within 180 daysof the date that Goodyear first paid her less than her peers.” The bill passed the House, 247 to 171. A similar bill, S.181, was approved by Congress later that month, and ultimately became law. [House Vote 9, 1/9/09; Public Law 111-2, 1/29/09]

2009: Pence Voted Against The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Which Expanded The Deadline To File Wage Discrimination Lawsuits. In 2009, Pence voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allowed lawsuits for pay discrimination to be filed within 180 days of any discrimination-affected paycheck, even if it was the result of discrimination that occurred more than 180 days ago. The bill effectively overturned the Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. According to the New York Times, in that case, “A jury found [Ledbetter’s] employer, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Gadsden, Ala., guilty of pay discrimination. But in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court threw out the case, ruling that she should have filed her suit within 180 days of the date that Goodyear first paid her less than her peers.” According to the New York Times, the Ledbetter Act “restarts the six-month clock every time the worker receives a paycheck.” The bill passed the House, 250 to 177, and President Obama signed it into law on January 29, 2009. [House Vote 37, 1/27/09; Public Law 111-2, 1/29/09; New York Times, 1/29/09]

2007: Pence Voted Against Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Which Extended The Time To File A Lawsuit Over Pay Discrimination To 180 Days From The Last Discriminatory Paycheck.In July 2007, Pence voted against a bill that, according to a Congressional Quarterly, would have “amend[ed] the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to allow employees to file charges of alleged discrimination within 180 days of the last paycheck received that is affected by alleged employment discrimination. ([Then-c]urrent law require[d] such suits be filed within days of the alleged discriminatory act, not the paychecks affected by the alleged act.) It also clarifie[d] that an employee is entitled — under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act — to up to two years of back pay if it is determined that discrimination occurred.” The House passed the bill by a vote of 225 to 199. The bill was then sent to the Senate, but the legislation died when the Senate rejected a motion to end debate. [House Vote 768, 7/31/07; Congressional Quarterly, 7/30/08; Congressional Actions, H.R. 2831]

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Extended The Deadline To File Wage Discrimination Lawsuits

Bill Was In Response To Supreme Court Decision That Wage Discrimination Lawsuits Had To Be Filed Within 180 Days Of Alleged Decision To Discriminate. According to Congressional Quarterly, “The Supreme Court ruled on May 29, in the case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., that workers cannot bring a wage discrimination lawsuit more than 180 days after an alleged discriminatory act. The case concerned Lilly Ledbetter, who had worked for Goodyear for more than 19 years. When she retired in 1998 — as a supervisor — her salary was 20% lower than that of the lowest-paid male supervisor. Seeking back pay, she sued Goodyear. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Ledbetter filed her claim too late, citing applicable federal statutes.” [Congressional Quarterly, 7/30/07]

The Legislation Allowed For Wronged Employees To Be Paid Two Years’ Worth Of Back Wages

Bill Allowed For Wronged Employees To Be Paid Two Years’ Worth Of Back Wages.According to Congressional Quarterly, “The bill would also allow for wronged employees to be paid up to two years’ worth of back wages.” [Congressional Quarterly, 5/5/08]

The Bill’s Supporters Argued That It Often Took Years For An Employee To Discover That They Had Been A Victim Of Wage Discrimination

Proponents Of The Bill Argued That It Often Took Years For An Employee To Discover That They Had Been A Victim Of Pay Discrimination. According to Congressional Quarterly, “Proponents of the bill argue that it often takes time, sometimes years, before employees can determine if they’ve been a victim of discrimination, especially because their coworkers’ pay is seldom made public.” [Congressional Quarterly, 5/5/08]

Supporters Of Overturning 2006 Supreme Court Decision Said It Ignored Realities Of Pay Discrimination. According to the New York Times, “In a vigorous dissenting opinion that she read from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the majority opinion ‘overlooks common characteristics of pay discrimination.’ She said that given the secrecy in most workplaces about salaries, many employees would have no idea within 180 days that they had received a lower raise than others. An initial disparity, even if known to the employee, might be small, Justice Ginsburg said, leading an employee, particularly a woman or a member of a minority group ‘trying to succeed in a nontraditional environment’ to avoid ‘making waves.’ Justice Ginsburg noted that even a small differential ‘will expand exponentially over an employee’s working life if raises are set as a percentage of prior pay.’ ” [New York Times,5/29/07]
Pence Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act And Related Legislation

2008: Pence Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act, Which Made It Easier For Women To Successfully Sue Their Employers Over Unequal Compensation. In July 2008, Pence voted against a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would make it easier for women who are paid less than their male counterparts to bring suits against their employers and receive compensation. Employers seeking to justify unequal pay would have to prove that disparities are job-related and required by a business necessity. Workers who won wage discrimination cases could collect compensatory and punitive damages. As amended, it would specify that punitive damages could only be awarded to plaintiffs who prove intentional discrimination.” The House passed the bill, named the Paycheck Fairness Act, by a vote of 247 to 178. The Senate took no substantive action on the measure. [House Vote 556, 7/31/08; Congressional Quarterly, 7/31/08; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1338]

2009: Pence Voted Against Requiring Employers To Prove That Instances Of Unequal Pay Were Job Related

2009: Pence Voted Against Requiring That Employers Prove That Instances Of Unequal Pay For Men And Women Were Job Related. In January 2009, Pence voted against a bill that according to Congressional Quarterly “would [have] require[d] employers seeking to justify unequal pay for male and female workers to prove that such disparities are job-related and required by a business necessity. It would [have] bar[red] retaliation by employers against employees who share salary information with their co-workers. Workers who won wage discrimination cases could collect compensatory and punitive damages.” The House passed the bill by a vote of 256 to 163. The text of the bill was appended to the end of H.R. 11 as new matter. H.R. 11 was passed by the House, but the Senate took no substantive action. [House Vote 8, 1/9/09; Congressional Quarterly, 1/9/09; Congressional Actions, H.R. 12; Congressional Actions, H.R. 11]

2009: Pence Voted To Cap Attorneys’ Fees Against Employers Found Liable Under The Paycheck Fairness Act

2009: Pence Voted To Cap At $2,000 Per Hour Any Award Of Attorneys’ Fees Against An Employer Found Liable Under The Paycheck Fairness Act. In January 2009, Pence effectively voted for an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, would have “stipulat[ed] [that] employers found liable would not be required to compensate for expert fees in excess of $2,000 per hour in discrimination cases described in the measure.” The vote was on a motion to recommit the bill with instructions to report the bill back with the specified amendment. The House rejected the motion by a vote of 178 to 240. [House Vote 7, 1/9/09; Congressional Actions, HR 12; Congressional Quarterly, 1/9/09]

Pence Said Growing A State’s Economy Would Help Equal Pay

Pence Said The Way To Address Income Inequality Is By Growing The State’s Economy.According to the Evansville Courier & Press, “On ‘Equal Pay Day,’ which called attention Tuesday to the so-called wage gap between the earnings of men and women for similar work, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said the way to address income inequality is by growing the state’s economy. Hoosier women make about 73 cents for every dollar men make in comparable jobs, ranking 46th in the nation and below the national average of 77 cents, according to a study by the American Association of University Women. Pence made the comments after receiving an award for the state’s tax reform efforts by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. ‘I want every Hoosier to make more money. I want Hoosier women to make every bit of as much money as Hoosier men do in similar positions,’ Pence said.” [Evansville Courier & Press, 4/9/14]

Pence: “Creating An Environment That Encourages More Investment, More Job Opportunities For Hoosiers Is The Best Pathway Forward Toward Increasing Personal Income For Men And Women In Indiana.” According to Howey Politics, “Indiana Democrats say Indiana hasn’t done enough to close the wage gap (Smith, Indiana Public Media). They spoke out Tuesday along with equal pay advocates across the nation who are marking Equal Pay Day, the date when the average woman’s earnings catches up to what the average man earned last year. Hoosier women earn about 73 cents for every dollar men make for the same work, and the poverty rate for women and girls in Indiana is nearly 17 percent. Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, says she and other Democrats tried to remedy those issues this past legislative session when House Democrats offered an amendment creating a commission to study pay disparity. But it was blocked by Republicans. Lawson says the first step is studying the problem. ‘Start with state government and then you can ask others throughout the state of Indiana to also step up to the plate and do what’s necessary to make sure that the wage gap closes,’ she says. Governor Mike Pence says he believes the way to address income disparity is to promote economic growth. ‘Creating an environment that encourages more investment, more job opportunities for Hoosiers is the best pathway forward toward increasing personal income for men and women in Indiana,’ he says.” [Howey Politics, 4/9/14]