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Harris unveils plan to close gender pay gap

Harris unveils plan to close gender pay gap
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris signals a potential breakthrough in US-Mexico cooperation Watch live: Harris delivers remarks on vaccination efforts Biden signs Juneteenth bill: 'Great nations don't ignore their most painful moments' 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 BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic MORE (I-Vt.), mostly by double-digits. She is running neck-and-neck in these polls with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats have turned solidly against gas tax Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Democratic senators press PhRMA over COVID-19 lobbying efforts  MORE (D-Mass.) and Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm 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.