Should US Companies Be Required to Provide Equal Pay to Women and Men?
All work, skills, and experience being equal there should be no different in the pay between any two employees; to discriminate between two individuals based on an inherent trait, such as race or gender, is a poor business practice as it reduces incentives for minority workers to add to the productivity of the company. Paying a person less to do the same work with identical skill sets and experience is a policy designed around personal bigotry that seeks to disenfranchise women and minorities; sex should never make a difference in compensation. The question is in whether or not the government has the Constitutional authority to force companies operating in the US to provide equal pay for women. On the other hand, it is certainly within the interests of businesses to diversify perspectives within the company by treating employees with equal respect.
Whether or not equal rights are Constitutional, there are certain steps that can be taken by the Government to ensure fair treatment of workers. Any company that accepts a Government contract can be contractually bound to provide equal pay to women and minorities. Furthermore, businesses that engage in discriminatory practices can be monitored and listed in public records indicating their behavior, thus, a poor reputation can be used to encourage equal pay. Part of this strategy may also include a legally binding pledge that businesses may choose to agree to as equal opportunity businesses already exist.
On the other hand, the Law provides for equal protection that, thanks in part to the spirit of the Nineteenth Amendment, extends legal protection to woman. As the government clearly has an interest in ensuring certain working conditions for US employees and the spirit of the Nineteenth Amendment seeks to end the social disenfranchisement of women, which involves the need for economic equality, the Government has a clear interest in protecting women's rights and has a clear duty to protect women from discriminatory employment practices. Furthermore, the Government has the authority to set minimum wage for all American workers, so it has the authority to dictate equal wage requirements. Therefore, the Government must require all companies operating within the US to fairly pay employees based on their work, skill set, experience, and tenor without regard to their gender.