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Binders Full of Women Don't Help Pay Disparity

This week, if you Google the phrase "binders full of women," you're bound to come up with some funny websites, memes and photos.

The phrase arose after a question was asked during the Presidential debates this week when Mitt Romney responded to a question on gender disparity in the workforce.

While the phrase has become an overnight joke, the underlying issue itself isn't as funny. Romney was asked what he would do to remedy the fact that women still get paid less than men in the workforce.

In response to the question, he spoke of his efforts on hiring equally and referenced his time as Governor of Massachusetts. As Governor, he claimed, he was put to the task of hiring staff. He wanted to fill some vacancies with qualified women. So, he claims, he set out on a campaign to find qualified women. And, he says he was given "binders full of women."

Now, his answer addressed the disparity in hiring women for prominent roles and the overall issue of gender discrimination.

The idea behind gathering binders full of women can be said to show that Mitt Romney was a proponent of affirmative action. The idea behind affirmative action is that an employer looks for minority candidates to fill vacant roles.

The issue of equal pay is a whole different issue from overall gender discrimination in hiring. President Barack Obama's administration tried to address gender disparity in pay by signing into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Under the Act, an employee can extend the statute of limitations to the time the last paycheck was paid, as opposed to when the discriminatory decision was made by the employer.

Despite the passage of this act, women continued to be paid less than men doing the same jobs. If you feel that you are paid less than a man who does your job, know that you have rights. Contact a Houston employment lawyer to see what your options are.

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