Legislature Updates Equal-Pay Act

The legislature in Olympia sent Governor Inslee a finished bill designed to help women achieve pay equity in Washington state.  Dan Frizzell with the Washington State House Democratic Caucus has more.

SENN: “It has been 75 years since Washington state has updated its equal-pay laws, and of course as we all know the economy has changed dramatically and so has our entire world.” [:11]

State Representative Tana Senn has been in the state House since 2013, and she’s been working to erase the pay disparity between equally qualified women and men in similar jobs the whole time.  Wednesday afternoon her latest attempt succeeded and is poised to become law. The bill doesn’t mandate salary equality – as she said, that’s been on the books since World War II – but instead outlaws workplace rules that bar employees from discussing their paychecks, keeping women unaware they’re being paid less for the same work than their male counterparts.  It also prohibits the consequences of asking for equal pay that can make women reluctant to lobby their employers for the salaries they feel they deserve. Again, Tana Senn:

SENN: “With this legislation I look forward to addressing the equal-pay gap, empowering women and men to talk about their wages, to address the issue when it comes before them, and not to be fearful of retaliation.” [:13]

Even with most Republicans voting no, the Mercer Island Democrat pushed her equal-pay bill to a 70-to-26 victory and expects a signature from Governor Inslee within days. At the state Capitol, I’m Dan Frizzell.