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Equal Pay

Closing the Wage Gap at Gap

Equal pay is achievable – just ask Gap Inc. Earlier this week the company announced that that it is paying men and women equally for work on the same jobs. It worked with a consulting firm to evaluate its pay practices and confirm pay parity between the sexes. The company also revealed that it is ahead of the curve in terms of its numbers of women in leadership positions.

Gap’s success in maintaining equal pay is all the more striking when you consider that women working in the retail sector as a whole experienced a 32 cent wage gap compared to their male counterparts in 2011. This gap for the retail sector is much larger than the overall wage gap between men and women. Read more »

Proposed Department of Labor Rule Will Shed Light on Federal Contractor Pay Practices, Help to Uncover Discrimination

It is a very simple principle — you can’t fix a problem that you don’t know about.

With that in mind, yesterday the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs — the agency charged with enforcing laws that prohibit discrimination by companies that contract with the federal government — announced a proposal for a new rule that will require certain contractors to report on how they pay their workers.

The annual Equal Pay Report that contractors will have to submit if this new rule is adopted will include information about employee compensation and the demographics of the company’s workforce. Having such data will help OFCCP to root out pay discrimination against women and minorities more effectively. The collection and reporting of this data to the government will also give contractors strong incentives to proactively monitor their own pay practices and to eliminate any unjustified pay disparities. Read more »

Montana State Government Leads the Way on Equal Pay with Self-Evaluation of Employee Compensation

There is both good news and bad news for women who work for the state of Montana.

Last week the state released the results of a pay equity audit [PDF] that was conducted by the executive branch of the state government – an in-depth analysis of pay practices to understand and identify possible solutions to gender-based pay disparities. The audit found that the female state government employees covered by the pay audit earned on average approximately 86 percent of what male state government employees earned. Read more »

The Completely Outrageous Wage Gap for African American Women

We’re marking an important landmark in the fight for equal pay for all women, but not in a good way. Get ready to get angry.

1. Even today, women overall typically make only 77 cents for every dollar men make, working full time year round.  

2. But that’s just the beginning: shamefully, the wage gap is even larger for women of color. 

Read more »

201 Days Till Equal Pay: The Wage Gap for African American Women

This year the nation marked Equal Pay Day (the symbolic day when women’s earnings finally catch up to men’s earnings from the previous year) on April 8th. I was lucky enough to be able to “celebrate” by standing with President Obama at the White House as he signed two critical executive actions to address the problem of unequal pay in the federal contractor workforce.

Yes, that’s right — women overall have to work three months into the new year before their wages catch up to men’s. Even worse, when you look at the data by race and gender together it is clear that it takes even longer for women of color to catch up. That’s because the wage gaps experienced by women of color are substantially larger than for women overall. Women overall typically make only 77 percent of what men make for full time, year round work — but, for example, for African American women and Hispanic women compared to white, non-Hispanic men this figure is 64 cents and 54 cents, respectively.

Which brings us to late July — the time when we will finally reach Equal Pay Day for African American women. Read more »

Will New Jersey Seize the Opportunity to Tackle Pay Discrimination?

This summer could represent a big moment in the fight to close the wage gap in New Jersey. Two bills aimed at addressing pay discrimination recently cleared both of the houses of the state’s legislature — the Unfair Wage Recovery Act and the Wage Transparency Act. But Governor Christie has previously vetoed both these key pieces of legislation, and so the question is  will he stand in the way of progress toward equal pay yet again?

The Unfair Wage Recovery Act is modeled on the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act  a landmark law adopted five years ago that kept the doors of the federal courthouse open for workers who experience pay discrimination. This bill would provide that the time period for a person to bring a pay discrimination suit under New Jersey state law re-starts each time that the person receives a paycheck that reflects discrimination. This would ensure that victims of discrimination won’t be denied a remedy just because they weren’t aware of discrimination until years later, and that employers will have the right incentives to promptly root out and eliminate any unfair pay disparities.

Read more »

Five Facts about Working Mothers for Mother's Equal Pay Day

Hallmark doesn’t make a card to give mothers on June 12th – but they should. June 12th is Mother’s Equal Pay Day—the day that marks how far mothers have to work into this year (in addition to working all of last year) to earn as much as fathers did last year alone. Read more »

Women’s Economic Opportunities: We’ve Come a Long Way, But We’re Not There Yet

A friend of mine is bringing a group of middle schoolers to D.C. next month for a field trip about inequality and social justice. She asked if I knew of any good resources about the economic challenges women face. As it turns out, yes. Yes, I do.

From poverty and low-wage work to retirement savings, women face unique obstacles in providing for themselves and their families in the United States. Earlier this week, the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on expanding economic opportunities for women and, with Senator Patty Murray leading the way, the conversation focused on the valuable contributions women have made to the economic security of their families and their country – and the need to remove barriers that still lie in the way. Read more »

How Jill Abramson Brings the Equal Pay Conversation to the New York Times

Since Wednesday this week, media sources have been asking why Jill Abramson was fired from her job as executive editor of the New York Times. Articles suggest that Abramson discovered that her pay and pension benefits were significantly less than the pay and pension benefits of the male editors who held both the executive editor and managing editors roles before her. Abramson raised her unequal pay with the higher ups, and according to sources, was then fired a few weeks later. Read more »

Granite Staters: Take Action Now for Paycheck Fairness

On Wednesday the New Hampshire House of Representatives is expected to vote on S.B. 207, New Hampshire’s Paycheck Fairness Act. This session S.B. 207 has garnered the unanimous support of the New Hampshire state Senate, and recently passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. The bill includes a number of important provisions to strengthen equal pay protections in the state.

But now your help is needed to stop a bad amendment to this bill. Read more »