MEDIA RELEASE: Modified “Equal Pay” Legislation Still Harmful and Unnecessary
Practice of Watering Down Bad Bills Must End
False progressive narrative once again drives legislative agenda with new #Unfair2Employers mandates.
Providence, RI– Rhode Island’s already dismal business climate will take yet another hit if progressive-extremists are once again successful in advancing anti-employer legislation based on a false narrative.
Dubbed earlier this year by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity as its Bad Bill of the Week, the Center maintains the equal pay legislation is unfair to small businesses.
Without providing any evidence that Rhode Island employers are systematically discriminatory and bigoted in their compensatory practices, and without presenting any argument why existing state and federal equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws are not sufficient, the House will, nonetheless, vote tonight on a watered-down version of equal pay legislation that has already passed the Senate.
“It is alarming that lawmakers will change state law based on a myth; that a politically-correct narrative derived from fake news can rule the day; and that business associations are complicit in passing legislation that will be harmful to their own members,” exclaimed Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “This practice of passing watered-down versions of bad bills, just to appease the progressive-left, must end.”
Almost exactly similar to the process that saw the anti-business ‘paid time off’ legislation passed last year, the House worked with business groups such as the Providence Chamber of Commerce, the RI Hospitality Association, and RIPEC to produce a watered-down version (H7427-subA) that removes some of the especially hostile provisions of earlier House and Senate versions. However, the Center maintains that no version of this legislation is actually needed; and that any version of this legislation will lead to new legal dangers for job-producers by creating vague and unfair new mandates for how employers should determine wages for workers.
“Businesses are at the tipping point – and jobs are at stake – if our state imposes more burdens and legal peril on the private sector. This progressive vision of equal outcomes for everyone could actually backfire, as businesses may end up hiring fewer women and minorities to avoid legal action,” said Stenhouse earlier this year. “Incredibly, this legislation assumes the guilt of hard-working employers in our state; it is a dream-come-true for law-suit minded lawyers, but will be a nightmare for the business community.”
The Center’s prior post on the legislation includes a video commentary from Stenhouse on the equal pay legislation as well as a link to a Prager U. video that discusses U.S. Department of Labor data, which debunks the 77 cents on the dollar gender-wage-gap myth.
Other Bad Bills: An interactive table of other progressive bad bill candidates, as well as posts and video commentary on previously tabbed “progressive bad bills of the week” can be found at RIFreedom.org/Bills.
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