May 20, 2019

Kamala Harris' 2020 plan to fine companies that don't ensure equal pay

California Senator Kamala Harris. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Kamala Harris revealed a proposal Monday to help close the gender pay gap in the U.S. by fining companies with more than 100 employees that don't guarantee equal pay, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Full-time women in the workforce earned 80% of what males earned in equivalent professions while black and Hispanic women earned even less, according to 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Harris writes in her plan:

"This will radically change the way we enforce equal pay in America. Our current equal pay laws rely exclusively on proving instances of individual discrimination and place the burden entirely on employees to hold big corporations accountable. ... Under our plan, for the first time in American history, companies will be held responsible for demonstrating they are not engaging in pay discrimination."


  • If approved by Congress, companies would be required to submit data on what they pay employees annually.
  • Companies who do not comply will be penalized 1% of their daily profits for every 1% gap in pay between men and women.
  • The Harris campaign calculated that fines would total about $180 billion in 10 years, which she plans on investing in paid family leave and medical leave.

Go deeper: Kamala Harris on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

The long journey to herd immunity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The sought-after state of herd immunity — in which widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease — is complicated by open questions about the effectiveness of a future vaccine and how COVID-19 spreads.

Why it matters: Unless a sufficient level of immunity is achieved in the population, the coronavirus could circulate indefinitely and potentially flare up as future outbreaks.

Judge rules all three defendants in shooting of Ahmaud Arbery will stand trial

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A judge ruled on Thursday that all three men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was shot and killed in February Glynn County, Georgia, will stand trial, AP reports.

Why it matters: The video of Arbery's death was among several catalysts in the mass protests against racial injustice that have unfurled across the country and world over the past week and a half.

Remembering George Floyd

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

With politicians, clergy and law enforcement in attendance on Thursday in Minneapolis, the family of George Floyd demanded recognition for his life well lived.

Why it matters: Floyd has become the latest symbol of police brutality after he was killed last week when a police officer held a knee to his neck.