Jack and Jill Politics blogger on pay fairness: ‘Transparency is power’

By Kay Steiger
Thursday, June 7, 2012 9:16 EDT
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Cheryl Contee screen shot via Current TV
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In an interview with The Young Turks‘ Cenk Uygur on Wednesday, Cheryl Contee from JackandJillPolitics.com talks about her own experiences discovering pay discrimination and noted, “transparency is power.”

Uygur talked about the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act, which failed in the Senate on Tuesday. Uygur said he agreed with the premise, that pay discrimination exists, but asked, “The question is, how do you address this?” Uygur said he wondered if it was fair to put that burden on the employer.

“Look, Cenk, transparency is power,” Contee said. “I actually worked in a position where I only found out through passing by another co-worker’s office and hearing on the phone, just by chance, that someone who was reporting to me was making $10,000 more than me.”

“That was a white male reporting to a black female,” Contee clarified. “He was being paid more. I was working harder and had more responsibility.”

“Can you see that this [legislation] might also create problems?” Uygur asked.

“That’s what the Republicans are saying,” Contee responded. “There’s no question that there is still discrimination. We must close the loopholes and make sure that not only women are protected but that this also protects men. The people who are for blocking fair pay for women are the people who are worried about being sued by the women they’ve discriminated against for all these years.”

An April report from the National Women’s Law Center found that on average, American women working full-time, year-round make 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. The pay gap is worse for women of color, with black women making 62 cents on the dollar and Hispanic women making 54 cents on the dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.

Watch the video, broadcast on Current TV on June 6.

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
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