WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Beyond equal-pay-for-equal-work gender debate, do we really want to discuss salaries with colleagues?

President Obama signed measures Tuesday - "Equal Pay Day" - designed to fortify laws guaranteeing equal pay for equal work across gender lines. And indeed, the United States Senate is considering the Paycheck Fairness Act, that would require employers demonstrate any differentials in wages are not related to gender. Although such legislation would probably be dead-on-arrival in the Republican-dominated, House of Representatives.

Doubtless, these measures will solidify the Democrats' gender advantage with women.

But such measures fuel the usual debate about women typically entering less lucrative, career tracks; taking more time off for child-rearing which can impede advancement; etc. In other words, equal-pay-for-equal-work is not only a commendable ideal, but carries the force of law... yet, in the real world, it ain't so simple.

Ask the Obama White House itself, where the American Enterprise Institute uncovered a rather inconvenient truth: Among White House staff, median salaries for women fell behind median salaries for men: The President's female aides were paid 88 cents for every dollar paid to men, roughly $65,000 to $73,729 annually. Indeed, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has found himself defending the apparent compensation gap among White House staff. Carney said the comparison was based on aggregate wages including the lowest salaries at the White House. These, he said, "may or may not be -- depending on the institution -- filled by more women than men." Carney said men and women in equivalent positions at the White House earn the same wages, and women headed 10 of 16 departments, earning the top salary of $172,200.

And, of course, if these new measures and laws produce more costly litigation at the very time many businesses are still trying to fully recover from the Great Recession...

But The CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR's White House & Chief Political Correspondent Linda Feldmann crystallizes a point I had been thinking about too: President Obama's executive order is intended to stop Federal contractors from retaliating against employees who dare discuss their compensation with other workers. Indeed, the President declared: "Pay secrecy fosters discrimination and we should not tolerate it -- not in Federal contracting or anywhere else..." Think about those final two words: "Anywhere else". Does that mean we're now all supposed to discuss our pay with colleagues? Really? Isn't that the last cultural taboo? More private than talking about nearly anything else? Wouldn't such discussions almost inevitably spark anxiety, envy, hurt feelings, anger, and all the rest?



Posted at 8:21am on April 9, 2014 by Allan Loudell

<- Back to all Allan Loudell posts

Comments on this post:

Wed, Apr 9, 2014 2:18pm
Disclosing salaries is a double-edge sword. Though it is nice to show those thinking you make less, that you really don't, it is embarrassing to reveal to those thinking you make much more, that you fall short of their expectation....

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 9, 2014 3:00pm
This is sort of a "unionized" approach. If you are a level one machinist, you make X dollars/hr.

Many companies have numerous levels within a job description, so that those who excel at their job vs. the person who's just doing enough to keep the boss off his/her back get different salaries.

Wed, Apr 9, 2014 3:50pm
On another news note, from the story WDEL is reporting on Arne Duncun's visit to Delaware,... The "Race To The Top" was an abysmal failure... After 4 years, $119 million free Federal dollars, we have nothing to show....

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 9, 2014 4:27pm
Why do we need the federal Department of Education? Seems like they just spend money, and the public schools continue to get worse.

Throwing more money at the schools isn't always the answer.

Wed, Apr 9, 2014 6:26pm
Sounds to me like Arne Duncan is once again pleased with "where Delaware's at".

As for my pay, it's none of my colleagues' d--- business.

Wed, Apr 9, 2014 8:27pm
Since there's probably nothing left to discuss on these two subjects, I've come up with an idea for a short trivia game. Now I've never tried this before, but the following is the first few bars of a theme to a popular crime show, written the way one would sing an instrumental by impersonating the instruments as best you can. Of course, I have no musical notes here, so you'll have to formulate it in your mind phonetically first, then musically. I would be curious as to who will be the first go guess what it is. So here goes:

Bom Bom, dat dat da dat da________
Bom Bom, dat dat da dat da______da__________

Looking forward to your responses!

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Apr 9, 2014 11:33pm
Law & Order.

Thu, Apr 10, 2014 6:12am
Mike, I had a hunch you'd be the first to figure it out. You can probably play that one on the keyboard. Of course, that one was probably way too simple. I'll have to do a really hard one next time. In the meantime, please enjoy the full-length version of this great TV theme:


Mike from Delaware
Thu, Apr 10, 2014 8:20am
Mrpizza: Law & Order is one of my favorite shows [I'm currently rewatching the entire series via Net Flix]. My favorite character is Lenny Brisco played by the late Jerry Orbach.

As to knowing many TV show themes, as I don't watch much current TV, I probably wouldn't know the show even if you played the actual theme - haha !

So the field's wide open for Kavips, EarlGrey, Shawn, JimH, etc., to know the answer.

Speaking of old TV shows, I watched one of the old Twilight Zone shows the other night on KJWP [Channel 2 on Comcast - ME TV].

Anyhow, we all know about the "famous" episode where the guy is sitting on the plane and watching this monster-like-looking guy messing with the plane's wing while in flight. The guy in the plane is the future Capt. James T. Kirk [aka William Shatner]. Apparently Shatner did more than one Twlight Zone show as he was the star in the one I viewed the other night.

Speaking of Wilmington TV, KJWP channel 2 - ME TV, the so called new Wilmington TV station, is on the bird 24/7, so far no local programming. We can all bash Channel 12 / WHYY for not doing much local Wilmington programming [WHYY's once-a-week 30-minute news magazine "First"], but of the three TV stations licensed to Wilmington - [Channel 2 KJWP - ME TV; Channel 12 WHYY - PBS; and Channel 61 WPPX - ION TV]- only WHYY, the non-profit PBS station, does ANY Delaware programming. It appears that is not a requirement to keep a broadcast license these days.

So that makes WDEL-Radio/On-line, an even more important voice for Wilmington as WDEL does do local programming and covers the news of this area.

Thu, Apr 10, 2014 10:10am
Sorry on the guessing game. I'm surprised Mike got it. I was going to post a long string of dums and das just to prove the impossibility of it...

Even though very familiar, once its answer was revealed, it would be impossible to guess, just from the list of possibilities.. one's only clue is its rhythm...

And hats off to Mr. Pizza for picking up on Mr. Secretary of Education's dangling preposition.... I totally missed that...

Fri, Apr 11, 2014 5:50am
MFD: Law and Order just started over again with episode 1 on WETV, so if you get that channel you could save your money on NETFLIX, although the money may be worth the time you'll save from no commercials.

Did you know that in 1973 Michael Moriarty and Sam Waterston starred together in a movie? Check out this link:


Mike from Delaware
Fri, Apr 11, 2014 10:47am
Mrpizza: I love Netflix. No commercials. It's worth the $8./ month for the on-line and $8./month for the DVD service to not have to put up with 18 minutes of commercials, not counting promos, etc. Most "hour-long" shows now are about 42 minutes in length. I have the most basic cable the Broadcast channels service for about $13. /month so those three fees are far less [was about $65./month extra for the expanded cable last time I checked] than I'd pay if I had the expanded cable and still not be able to find much I'd want to watch other than what I find on my basic cable and netflix. This way, my wife and I get far more TV than we'll ever watch for a far cheaper price.

Add your comment:
Attention: In an attempt to promote a level of civility and personal responsibility in blog discussions, we now require you to be a member of the WDEL Members Only Group in order to post a comment. Your Members Only Group username and password are required to process your post.

You can join the WDEL Members Only Group for free by clicking here.
If you are already a member but have forgotten your username or password, please click here.

Please register your post with your WDEL Members Only Group username and password below.

Copyright © 2014, Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.   Terms of Use.
WDEL Statement of Equal Employment Opportunity and Outreach