Quick update from Olympia: It’s hard to see how equal pay could be controversial in 2018. (2018!) And yet we’re hearing that some state senators are siding with business lobbyists and trying to stand in the way of progress on equal pay. Take a moment and tell your state senator to pass the Equal Pay Opportunity Act this year.
The State House took a big step forward on equal pay this year with a strong vote to pass the Equal Pay Opportunity Act. Then a Senate committee quickly voted to moved the bill forward too... but since then, no further action has been taken.
There's broad-based support for the equal pay bill, which includes important provisions to improve pay equity and protect workers' right to discuss their salaries.
But apparently some of the big business lobby groups at the state capitol are saying they have “concerns” about it. (Yep, they're saying they have concerns about an equal pay bill. In 2018.)
In fact, the word from Olympia is that the business groups are saying that the only way they’ll accept the equal pay bill is if the state takes away the right of local governments to pass their own laws to further advance equity.
Where’d they get that idea? Well, preempting the power of local government has long been a top priority of the right-wing policy shop ALEC and other national business groups. That's because they know that new advances on labor standards often emerge from the local level... and they don't want to see any more new advances on labor standards.
Here’s the thing. The business lobbyists may think they get to decide when workers in our state make progress. Some state senators may even agree.
But we have some "concerns" about their attitude, because that’s not how this works. The business types may be used to being the boss at work, but we’re the boss of our state legislators. And they need to hear from us.
Do the business lobbyists think they're the only ones with concerns? We have concerns that it's 2018 and our Equal Pay Act hasn't been updated since 1943. We're concerned that women are still only making 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. We're concerned that it’s several decades past time to move forward and they keep on putting obstacles in the way of getting this thing done.
If you share our concerns and have had enough of theirs, take a moment to send a message and help pass equal pay.