A baby girl born today will likely never achieve equal pay in her lifetime in 13 states unless we narrow the pay gap with corrective policy, according to a new state-by-state analysis published by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
In Pennsylvania, if current trends continue, women are not projected to earn equal pay until 2068. That estimate is an average, because the wage gap is much wider for women of color than white women. White women will not see equal pay until 2056. Black women will not see pay equity until 2124, while Hispanic women must wait 231 more years until 2248.
These may be optimistic projections for Pennsylvania, where the state Legislature has so far not only failed to implement corrective policies, but are actively considering a bill that would reverse our meager equal pay protections.
Senate Bill 241, sponsored by Sen. Thomas J. McGarrigle, R-Chester, and Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, is being sold to the public as an equal pay bill when in reality, it fails to close the loopholes in our state equal pay law, and would strip Philadelphia workers of some equal pay protections already in place.
Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Act was adopted back in 1959. Less than a decade later, it was weakened so that it applied to so few people that the types of employees it protects can be listed on a half-sheet of paper—leaving a loophole so big, that frankly, the law hardly applies to anyone.
And now, Pennsylvania lawmakers are trying to pass an ALEC-authored bill to benefit corporations, while telling the public it fixes our equal pay problem.
Bottom line: SB 241 is a fake fix for a real problem.
It’s 2017. Women do not work for pocket money, we work to support our families. Playing politics with women’s paychecks by floating a fake fix like SB 241 is taking food out of children’s mouths.
April 4 is Equal Pay Day. We invite you to join us at the Capitol in Harrisburg for Equal Pay Day, where the Pennsylvania chapters of Business and Professional Women and American Association of University Women are hosting a lobby day and rally. Details on the events are here. Please register if you plan to attend.
Confirmed speakers include Pennsylvania State Representatives Donna Bullock, Maria Donatucci and Brian Sims, who will update us on their efforts to introduce real equal pay solutions in Pennsylvania.
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