Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is promising big fines for companies that she claims unfairly pay men more than women. But there’s one problem.
Under that law, she might have to fine herself.
The U.S. senator from California announced her gender wage gap plan on Monday, saying, “For too long, we’ve put the burden entirely on workers to hold corporations accountable for pay discrimination through costly lawsuits that are increasingly difficult to prove,” according to CNBC.
“We’ve let corporations hide their wage gaps, but forced women to stand up in court just to get the pay they’ve earned,” she continued. “It’s time to flip the script and finally hold corporations accountable for pay inequality in America.”
If she becomes president and gets this law passed, that means it’ll be up to companies to constantly prove to the federal government that they’re not being discriminatory toward a single one of their employees.
Her website laid out a plan for every company with at least 100 employees, requiring them “to obtain Equal Pay Certification from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.”
In other words, companies will now be incentivized to hire independent contractors instead of new employees — with benefits — so they can stay under 100 employees and avoid federal agents breathing down their necks. Harris didn’t address that likely possibility.
It appears that larger companies will also have to constantly report — and justify — all the promotions they give to employees. That certainly won’t encourage companies to give raises. Companies that don’t get the Equal Pay Certification stamp of approval will be fined by the feds.
All in all, Harris’ plan would have a massive effect on businesses in America and would force far more government involvement in the private sector. But if it were implemented today, Harris herself would have to answer to the feds for not paying her female campaign staffers as much as her male staffers.
The Washington Free Beacon did an analysis and discovered a gender pay gap in Harris’ office, with women earning about 95 cents for every dollar a man earns. In her Senate office, women earn 94 cents to the dollar.
When the Beacon contacted Harris’ office for an explanation, they refused to comment. But the Democratic candidate wouldn’t be allowed to refuse the feds under her own plan.
It’s possible that Harris is not discriminating against her female employees, but she would have to prove it to the government by reporting on all the complexities of why one employee is more valuable than another — adding in factors like seniority, education level, conduct, dependability, attitude, and willingness to go the extra mile, among many other factors.
Harris labeled her proposal "the most aggressive equal pay proposal in history." Indeed. She received some blowback when she announced her plan on Twitter.