On Monday, the Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow reported that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) had unveiled a plan to punish companies that paid women less than men — a misguided effort to close the so-called “gender wage gap” that Harris claims is the result of widespread discrimination against and oppression of women.
It turns out, though, if Harris is going to start fining CEOs and company leadership for failing to pay men and women equally, she’s going to have to start with herself.
Harris’ plan would require companies to obtain a written document from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, officially certifying that they pay men and women equally. If they cannot, they will be fined 1% of earnings for every 1% difference in pay between the genders.
“Kamala Harris has a simple message for corporations: Pay women fairly or pay the price,” the campaign said in a statement. “We’ve let corporations hide their wage gaps, but forced women to stand up in court just to get the pay they’ve earned. It’s time to flip the script and finally hold corporations accountable for pay inequality in America.”
The Washington Free Beacon reports that Harris, under her own plan, would be on the hook for at least a 6% fine. Women working for Harris in both her Senate office and on her campaign earn an average of $.94 for every dollar Harris’ male employees earn.
“In her Senate office’s most recent six-month disclosure, covering the period from April 1, 2018, through Sept. 31, 2018, the median male salary disbursement was $34,999 and the median female salary disbursement was $32,999, leaving women with just 94 cents of every dollar paid to men,” the Free Beacon says.
“The gender pay gap for the previous six-month period, during which the median male salary was $27,167 and the median female salary was $25,749.97, was a nearly identical 6 percent,” they continue.
And that’s an improvement for Harris. Early on in her campaign, the “gender wage gap” was even higher, with women earning around $.87 for each dollar earned by a man working for Harris’ presidential effort. At its best, the campaign had only a 5% “gender wage gap.”
Of course, these numbers do not indicate that Harris openly discriminates against her female employees. In fact, the explanation might be rather simple: Harris hires the best person for each individual job and pays them a salary commensurate with their experience and education levels. In some cases, a single, high-level male aide who commands a slightly higher salary throws off the entire equation.
But that’s just the problem with Harris’ lofty policy goal of “eliminating” the “gender pay gap”: her own draft policy doesn’t quantify how the “gap” is calculated and seems to rely on simple statistics. If men in an office make more than women, that’s a “gender pay gap,” no matter what the circumstances may be. And her plan goes even further, essentially demanding statistical equality at the highest levels of American corporations without regard to talent level.
As Schow pointed out Monday, to truly calculate any “gender wage gap,” the EEOC would have to take into account career demands, prior experience level, prior wage rates, requested wages at application, job difficulty, hours worked, and overtime worked among other factors. A mere overall average would put nearly every company — including Harris’ own presidential campaign — at risk of owing major cash to the government.