The government of Canada just passed historic legislation regarding equal pay for men and women.
TL;DR The government just passed new and historic legislation in regard to pay equity for men and women. This should be positive news, but some Canadians are reacting negatively to Trudeau's announcement of this new law. Are these disdainful Twitter replies justified?
It's officially called "proactive pay equity legislation," and yesterday, Trudeau Tweeted a video of himself publicly announcing this historic new legislation at the World Economic Forum.
This year at #WEF, I spoke about the benefits of gender equality & our plan to establish federal proactive pay equity. Yesterday, we took the next step to make sure women get equal pay for equal work & have a #FairChance to succeed. Get the details: https://t.co/ypwnylIKeG pic.twitter.com/r8IQlodLN9— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 31, 2018
In short, the legislation applies to individuals working in "federally regulated" workplaces, but still, shouldn't this be good news?
Not according to many of Trudeau's Twitter followers who are showing nothing but skepticism and contempt for this federal initiative.
Its been law for many decades women get the same pay as men. If the govt hasnt follwoed the law, then they should be sued! Stop taking credit for something that has been law since the 80s— Diana Kinnear-Whitfield (@DianaWh72917335) October 31, 2018
You're claiming credit for working on a riddle that's already been solved.— Patient Zero (@Patient25021519) October 31, 2018
Ummm Justin. Equity and equality of opportunity are contradictory. So which one do you want? Pay equity or equality of opportunity?— RSH (@RSH14731162) October 31, 2018
It's been the law for a long time he wants to get credited for it Trudeau is useless has to go— ingemar (@ingemar16389346) October 31, 2018
You are a #fakefeminist. You use different groups for votes and to retain power. We have had equal pay for years. Most qualified for the job. What a novel concept.— Mrs. Fed Up with the Liberals & NDP (@madcanadian2017) October 31, 2018
Equality does not equal equity. Failure to recognize the difference is a dangerous path.— Braylie Brooke (@BraylieBrooke) October 31, 2018
Of course, equal opportunity and pay equity are contentious subejcts and there will always be Twitter lurkers ready to pounce and dish out negative comments.
However, in this case, the cynical Twitter comments well outweigh the positive ones, which is surprising considering the positive nature of this new legislation.
A quick Google search and reading of the "fine print" quickly raises a question mark at these skeptical Twitter replies.
The Canadian Human Rights Act was passed a long time ago, in 1977 to be precise, and it does in fact require that women and men within the same establishment be paid the same for work of equal value.
However, this act only recognizes that employees have the right to complain to their employers about pay inequality. In reality, of course, few employees do that, especially when gendered power dynamics are at play.
The new law, however, "proactive pay equity legislation," the operative word being "proactive," puts the responsibility on the employer by requiring that they perform "pay equity analysis" to make sure compensation practices are in line with government standards.
Ultimately, these knee-jerk and emotionally fueled Twitter responses can be fun to read, but should never be taken too seriously. Proactive Pay Equity Legislation is definitely a step in the right direction.