Insisting that employers pay women less for malevolent reasons, Mr. Obama made it easier to make pay discrimination suits. Notes CNN,
companies will need to meticulously document pay decisions and retain detailed employment records, legal experts say. In this, small companies may be at a disadvantage - few have access to the attorneys and human-resources professionals that will help larger businesses comply with the newly expanded law.A strange thing to do in rough economic times.
Risk of pregnancy isn't the only reasons for pay gap. Women tend to enter less technical jobs. Part of that is a natural tendency; for whatever reason, women are less likely to enter the sciences and, save economics, more likely to enter the social sciences. Go to any college math class and I bet you'll see mostly men (no going to an all-women school; that's cheating).
The other reason for the draw to the less technical is, you guessed it, pregnancy. Technical jobs have a high degree of obsolescence, meaning you have to stay on top of the latest developments to keep pace. But when you leave the job market for months at a time to care for a newborn, this is really hard to do. Hence women become secretaries, not engineers.
Biology's a sneaky thing and even seeps in after the children are born. Women also tend to work part-time, since women are still the gender that tends to take of kids. Being restricted to part-time adds additional restrictions to where they can work; again, these places that accept part-time employment tend to be paid less. Fringe benefits are usually off the table as well.
The nice thing about this story is it's easily testable. Simply look at groups where the biology issue isn't relevant and control for education. Thomas Sowell from Economic Facts and Fallacies:
Among college-educated, never-married individuals with no children who worked full-time and were from 40 to 64 years old--that is, beyond the child-bearing years--men averaged $40,000 a year in income, while women averaged $47,000. (p70)Women are paid 17.5% more than men! Maybe we'll see that new legislation end the tyranny of male bosses upon his fellow man.