I was going to write a straight up post about how the Washington State House passed the Equal Pay Opportunity Act. Modeled on what some other states are doing, it would make it easier for employees to compare wages.
“This pay transparency allows employees the opportunity – the very information they need – to identify and challenge practices that lead to discrimination,” she said.
Washington’s working women make about 77 cents for every dollar men make.
In fact, a recent study released by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce found that the median salary for women in Washington state is $41,300, while the median salary for men is $53,000.
Awesome job House!
That said, I was going to start this post with a similar intro to the minimum wage post. Namely, that it’s a great, and vital, and necessary thing that the Senate is most likely either not going to take up or if it does that it won’t pass, or — best case — water down significantly. And I wonder if we’re getting these sort of things passed in the House (guns excluded) because they have no chance of passing the Senate.
What I mean is, they want to get lefty voters like the writers and many readers of this blog excited. We’re doing everything we can on raising the minimum wage and making sure there’s equal pay for women, and we passed Reproductive Health Act. Yes!
But they can turn around to the business community and let them know well your minimum wage isn’t raised and you don’t have to do anything new for equal pay for women, so don’t worry. They can turn to the insurance industry and let them know they don’t have to pay for abortions or other reproductive care. And I wonder if it would have been tougher to pass these things in the House if Democrats controlled the Senate. I mean women weren’t being paid equally when Democrats controlled both chambers. The Reproductive Parity Act didn’t become law when they had both chambers.
None of this is to say that activists should despair. Contact your legislator. Push your Senator to actually pass these things. Sometimes something will surprise you! Work to elect more and better Democrats. But honestly, I’d like to see some proof that this isn’t just pandering.