Elizabeth Warren Pays Female Staffers Less than Men-Fiction!

Elizabeth Warren Pays Female Staffers Less than Men-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren pays female staffers less than male staffers despite her strong support for equal pay.
The Truth:
Claims that Elizabeth Warren pays female staffers 71 cents for every dollar that men working in her congressional office are false and were based on incomplete salary information.
The story was first published by the Washington Free Beacon on national Equal Pay Day. It painted Elizabeth Warren, a vocal proponent of equal pay, as a hypocrite given that female staffers earned 71 cents on the dollar, worse than the national pay gap of 80 cents on the dollar:

Equal Pay Day, created two decades ago by the National Committee on Pay Equity, is scheduled by using the Census Bureau annual unadjusted gender pay gap to determine how far into the next year women would have to work to match annual earnings of men. Last year’s figures, showing that women earned 79.6 percent of what men earned, put Equal Pay Day on Tuesday April 4, more than three months into the calendar year.

However, women working for Warren were paid just 71 cents for every dollar paid to men during the 2016 fiscal year, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.

The median annual earnings for women staffers, $52,750, was more than $20,000 less than the median annual earnings for men, $73,750, according to the analysis of publicly available Senate data.

When calculated using average salaries rather than median, the pay gap expands to just over $26,051, or about 31 percent.

However, a Huffington Post analysis found that Elizabeth Warren had paid female staffers a median salary of $44,108 since she took office in 2012, compared to a median salary of $43,348 for male staffers. Additionally, the Free Beacon report was based on incomplete salary information and excluded the salary of Warren’s highest paid staffer, a woman:

The Free Beacon claimed women earned 71 cents for every dollar men earned in Warren’s office, based on incomplete salary data from fiscal year 2016. This would be significantly worse than the pay gap in the United States, where women working full-time earn an average of 80 cents on the dollar compared to men. But the analysis only included people who had been employed by Warren’s office the entire year, which excluded, among others, Warren’s all-time highest paid staffer, Mindy Myers. Myers was earning $170,000 a year as Warren’s chief of staff in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hired her as its first female executive director in December. 

The Free Beacon also claimed Warren is only paying one woman more than $100,000, compared to five men. This leaves out Haaren Hinck, who worked for Warren for half of last year earning $118,000. And Lauren Miller, Warren’s digital director, earns half of her roughly $120,000 salary from Warren’s senate office and half from the campaign ― but the Free Beacon did not include the latter half in its analysis. 

The Huffington Post also reported that a number of Warren’s top paid staffers were promoted out of the office in 2016, like strategic advisor Tracy Lewis who joined Hillary Clinton’s campaign, further distorting salary wage gap metrics for the year.

Given that the Free Beacon report was based on incomplete and misleading data, we’re reporting claims that Elizabeth Warren pays female staffers less as “fiction.”