The Fight for Pay Equity: A State Road Map for Pennsylvania
At the December 2017 Hot Topics Luncheon. Toni Hoffman and Susan McNamara, Past Public Policy Chairs, American Association of University Women, spoke on the extent of the gender wage gap and what to do about it. According to the AAUW, as efforts stall at the federal level, states can enact legislation to help women and families at the local level.
Pennsylvania has some equal pay protections, but they are incomplete. To close the pay gap in the Commonwealth, the Equal Pay Act must be amended to include the five elements: cover all employees, offer protections, clarify employer defenses, establish strong legal procedures and remedies and comparable worth.
At the Lehigh Valley Women’s Advocacy Coalition (LVWAC) March 2018 Meeting, we learned that there are five bills in the state house in Harrisburg to carry out these five goals to a greater or lesser degree. Four of these bills pale in comparison to HB1243, Equal Pay Legislation. Brian Sims, D-182, Philadelphia, is the prime sponsor of that bill. It supports all five goals. The bill was referred to the House Labor and Industry Committee on April 19, 2017. That is almost a year ago! Let’s contact our local representatives and tell them how much closing the gender wage gap means to us.
We should thank the two representatives from our county who are cosponsors: Peter Schweyer, D-22, and Jeanne McNeill, D-133. Representative McNeill is one of two from Lehigh County who are members of the Labor and Industry Committee. The other is Ryan E. Mackenzie, R-134. You can ask them to ask the chairs of the Labor and Industry Committee to vote the equal pay legislation out of committee. Please contact me if you would like more information about this issue.
Click here and scroll down to “Details” to read the article about the presentation written by Julie Swan, Member, the League of Women Voters of Northampton County.
Janet Little, LWVLC President
Lehigh Valley Women’s Advocacy Coalition (LVWAC) meetings are held on Meetings are held on a Tuesday morning every other month in the Community Room at PBS39 in Bethlehem. Meetings usually start at 8:30 am. Please check our Facebook events section for the date of the next meeting.
Although the LVWAC has been initially chaired by Toni Hoffman and Susan McNamara, you do not need to belong to the AAUW to attend these meetings.
As you can tell from the information posted above, a special guest usually speaks on an issue relevant to the initiative. At the meeting held on August 2018, Carrie Santoro, Director, Civic Engagement, Make the Road Pennsylvania, spoke about how to run an ethical campaign and engage citizens at the same time.