Just because state legislation is named "Fair Pay Act" does not mean that is what it really is.
The Jamestown branch of American Association of University Women has mistaken the proposed law for an issue of equal pay for women.
"Equal pay for equal work is a simple concept," said Kathleen Colby, president of the Jamestown AAUW branch, in criticizing Assemblyman Andrew Goodell for not voting in favor of the bill.
"Women have been fighting for so long for equal pay. I don't understand why this is so hard to understand," she said.
But the Fair Pay Act is not about equal pay for equal work.
It is about equal pay for different work.
The bill would impose state regulations telling businesses with more than four employees which jobs are "equal" and so must be paid the same.
''The effect of the bill would be to replace the wage rates that currently reflect supply and demand in a competitive free market economy with government-regulated wage rates,'' Goodell wrote to the AAUW in explaining his vote.
The state Business Council notes that in a free market economy, the value of a job is determined by the supply and demand of workers in a given profession. The higher the demand for the skill or service, the higher the pay and, likewise, the lower the demand, the lower the pay.
The AAUW is mistaken in believing Goodell's objection to the state legislation is a vote against equal pay for women.
''A bill that would devastate New York employers with grossly unfair and unworkable governmental oversight and regulation is not in the best interests of Chautauqua County or the State of New York,'' he wrote.
The AAUW is right on target in noting that there is a pay gap between what men and women earn. The latest figures show that women earned 77 percent as much as men.
And Assemblyman Goodell is right as well - the state legislation is not the tool to fix the problem.
In fact, equal pay for equal work is the law of the land already and has been for 40 years. It is covered by the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The problem is enforcement.
Groups that are urging passage of the business-killing "Fair Pay Act" would accomplish much more in reaching their goal by vigorously demanding enforcement of the existing laws.