Harris unveils plan to close gender pay gap

Harris unveils plan to close gender pay gap
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday released a proposal to penalize companies that fail to pay men and women equally for the same work.

Harris’s campaign called her proposal “the most aggressive effort to enforce pay equity in history,” and it would require that corporations secure an “Equal Pay Certification” from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to show that men and women are being treated equally in terms of pay.

The idea behind the plan is to put the onus on companies, and not their employees, to enforce equal pay.

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“As the daughter of a working mother in a male-dominated field, I know the fight to be treated equally in the workplace has persisted for generations,” Harris said in a statement.

“This plan will finally put the burden of ensuring equal pay on the corporations responsible for gender pay gaps, not the employees being discriminated against," she said. "We can finally ensure women earn the wages they deserve by forcing companies to step up, holding them accountable when they don’t, and committing as a nation to ending pay inequity once and for all.”

Harris has been seeking to win more support for her presidential campaign. National polls show her trailing former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters MORE (I-Vt.), mostly by double-digits. She is running neck-and-neck in these polls with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial MORE (D-Mass.) and Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Candidates weighing using private jets to get to Iowa Biden nabs endorsement from Iowa Democrat in swing district MORE, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.

Under the Harris plan, companies that fail to obtain the certification receive a daily fine as well as a fine of 1 percent of their profits for every unresolved 1 percent wage gap for work of equal value.

Harris wants the plan to be codified through a law approved by Congress. But if Congress does not act, she is pledging to use executive action to apply the proposal to federal contractors. These contractors would be required to obtain the certification in order to compete for federal contracts valued at over $500,000.

The proposal also addressed issues of women being passed over for promotions or missing out on opportunities for advancement due to taking time off to take care of new children, with Harris saying companies will also be required to support statistics on their percentage of leadership positions and top earners held by women and, as well as the overall pay and total compensation gap between men and women regardless of title, performance and experience.