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Despite push for 'aggressive' equal pay policy, Kamala Harris pays men more than women, analysis finds

Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris has made closing the "gender wage gap" a big part of her presidential campaign, but apparently it's not a big part of her employment practices.

Analysis conducted by the Washington Free Beacon published on Tuesday found that the junior California senator actually pays men more than women in both her congressional office and on her presidential campaign.

The right-leaning news outlet found that the median salary for male staffers was $2,000 higher than that of females in Harris' congressional office from April 1, 2018, through Sept. 31, 2018. Out on the campaign trail, the median salary for female Harris staffers was 13% lower than that of the median male salary in February. The information came from recent pay disclosures from Senate office and the campaign.

It's not clear whether men and women were paid differently for different work, the Free Beacon report clarifies, noting that members of congress and presidential candidates are only required to disclose amounts paid out.

The news comes just a day after Harris' presidential campaign announced an equal pay policy proposal, which it touted as the "most aggressive" in history.

"It's not right that young women need to work more hours to pay off their student debt," the campaign's announcement said. "It's not right that new mothers are penalized for taking time off to care for their children. It's not right that women retirees have less security and accumulated wealth after working their entire careers. ... It's not right, and it needs to change."

Harris' plan would require employers receive an "Equal Pay Certification," or pay daily fines until they became compliant.

In order to be certified, companies would have to prove that their pay disparities are based on "merit, performance, or seniority," rather than sex. They would also have to disclose pay policies in order to align them with federal government regulations, disclose the number of women in leadership or top earning positions, and disclose their gap and pay between men and women "regardless of job titles, experience, and performance."

Companies that don't meet the certification standards would face daily fines until they became equal-pay compliant. Paying equally qualified men and women at different rates for the same job has been illegal for well over 50 years now, and critics of new policies argue that remaining disparities between male and female compensation are more the result of differing trends in career choices between the sexes, rather than lingering discrimination or lax enforcement of existing law.

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