The latest assault on small business launched by our "leaders" in Washington seeks to bring down companies in a civil war among employees.
A Democrat senator and a Democrat representative introduced legislation a few days ago which they call the "Paycheck Fairness Act." What's it involve?
Among its many provisions -- which none of the thousands of existing laws governing small business have regulated -- is a clause that requires employers to disclose the salaries of employees to other workers by having to justify why two people doing similar work are paid differently. All it takes is one person thinking he or she has been discriminated against to require an employer to disclose salary information on all employees doing similar work.
The bill also prevents employers from mandating that employees do not discuss their salaries with others, and prevents them from retaliating against employees dumb enough to share salary information.
In fact, current law makes it illegal "to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to this chapter, or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding, or has served or is about to serve on an industry committee."
The new bill adds this gem of a provision that states the above law "shall not apply to instances in which an employee who has access to the wage information of other employees as a part of such employee’s essential job functions discloses the wages of such other employees to individuals who do not otherwise have access to such information."
So, anyone in human resources or in accounting, can disclose the salaries of other people working for the company and rely on the full protection of the federal government when they do so. Perhaps the worker can post the company's salary information on Facebook or other social media outlets to really generate a discussion among the staff.
The IRS requires that people visiting its offices completely shut off cell phones so as not to photograph a person's tax return. But, this bill would allow public disclosure of any employee's salary information if just one other employee thinks he or she is being discriminated against based on the amount they are paid.
Of course, the bill exempts the federal government from complying with its provisions. And, of course, it sets aside $15 million for "training" and to create a grant program to improve the negotiation skills of girls and women.
Like the demotivator sold at despair.com so aptly proclaims, "Government: If you think the problems we create are bad, just wait until you see our solutions."
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