Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Equal Pay Day in Idaho

April 28 marks Equal Pay Day in Idaho, the result of a resolution passed by the Idaho Legislature earlier this month. It recognizes the fact that on average, Idaho women must work 16 months to collect the annual wages earned by the typical Idaho man.

Writing in the Idaho Statesman, Democratic lawmakers Anne Pasley-Stuart and Les Bock tell why they introduced the measure:

Pay for women in Idaho has only improved 5 percent since 1992, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Vital Statistics. In only three other states do women face a greater pay gap than they do in Idaho.

The wage gap becomes particularly insidious as women age. Women are far more likely to enter retirement in poverty than men, because women have insufficient incomes to save for retirement, maximize pension and Social Security benefits, and provide for their longer life spans. For retired women, the median income is $15,615, about half that of their male counterparts.

... HCR 23 assures women and men that they have not only an equal playing field, but an equal paying field. It is especially good that we've taken action in the wake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which will ensure that American workers are treated fairly under the law by correcting wage disparities.

Read more of their op-ed here, and read an article about the measure here.