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Women Honored On “Equal Pay Day”

Yesterday, April 4th, was Equal Pay Day, the day when women finally earn as much as their male counterparts did in the previous year.

“Pay discrimination undermines our country’s fundamental principles of equality. As long as millions of American women continue to only earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, we have to keep fighting,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “Equal Pay Day is an important reminder that, despite recent progress, we still have a long way to go to end pay discrimination. A recent study projected that the wage gap in New Hampshire will close in 2079. Waiting 62 years to close the wage gap is just unacceptable, hurting Granite State women, their families and our economy. It’s time to make equal pay for equal work a reality.”

In the U.S. Senate, Senator Maggie Hassan joined Senator Shaheen and 40 other Senators in reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, guaranteeing that women can challenge wage discrimination and hold employers accountable. Despite making up half of the workforce in the country, women still make only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by a man. The gap widens for women of color: African-American women only earn 63 cents on the dollar and Hispanic only earn 54 cents, on average, compared to white men. 

“It’s long past time for women to earn an equal day’s pay for an equal day’s work,” Senator Hassan said. “Wage discrimination is unacceptable and it strains the financial security of thousands of Granite State families and threatens our economic well-being in New Hampshire. I am proud to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act to help ensure that all hard-working Granite Staters and Americans can earn a fair pay check and have the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead.” 

The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, ending the practice of pay secrecy, easing workers’ ability to individually or jointly challenge pay discrimination, and strengthening the available remedies for wronged employees.

In the U.S House, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today co-introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act and highlighted the gender pay gap on Equal Pay Day. 

“Working women are America’s mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives. We’re America’s factory and office workers, health care professionals and scientists, business executives and teachers,” said Shea-Porter. “Women are working everywhere, but in America, in 2017, women still make only 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. Equal pay for equal work is a fairness issue and an economic issue: New Hampshire families rely on women’s wages to make ends meet, and when women are paid less than men for the same work, it affects the whole family.”

Compared to national figures, the disparity in New Hampshire is even greater – the state ranks 47th in the nation for paycheck fairness, according to the National Women’s Law Center, with women in New Hampshire losing an average of $534,120 over a 40-year career due to the gender pay gap.

One key way to start closing the pay gap is for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Shea-Porter has co-introduced in each of her four terms. The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the 1963 Equal Pay Act, close loopholes in the law, and provide effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal pay for equal work.

Shea-Porter is a strong advocate for issues that are important to women and families. She co-introduced the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which became law on Jan. 29, 2009 and ensured that Americans subjected to unlawful gender-based pay discrimination can effectively assert their rights under the federal anti-discrimination law. This February, Shea-Porter co-introduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, a bill to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program and ensure that American workers no longer must choose between a paycheck and caring for a family member, and the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act, which would boost the tax break’s value and ensure it keeps up with the costs working parents face, including the quickly-rising cost of childcare.

“In 2017, it is simply unacceptable that women on average earn 80 cents to every dollar men earn,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “This is an injustice not only to women, but also to the many American families that count a woman as the primary or co-breadwinner. It’s long past time we correct this injustice, and I will continue my efforts in Congress to end the pay gap and ensure women receive the compensation they deserve.”

Since taking office, Congresswoman Kuster has been a strong advocate for equal pay for women.  She is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help reduce wage disparities between men and women across the country. In addition, she authored a Women’s Economic Agenda, a plan for Congress to prioritize initiatives to reduce pay disparities based on gender and support Granite State women and their families. She has also hosted a series of roundtables to hear directly from women business owners and other professionals all across New Hampshire about what more Congress can do to help Granite State women succeed and receive fair pay in the workplace.

The women senators of the NH Senate Democratic Caucus also released a statement in recognition of Equal Pay Day: 

“Despite decades of research and advocacy, pay discrimination between male and female workers continues to undermine our nation’s fundamental principles of equality. Today, American women on average earn just 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. That disparity increases significantly for women of color. This isn’t just a women’s issue–it’s a family issue and an economic issue.”

“In fact, research conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finds that ensuring equal pay for every woman in America would cut poverty among working women and their families by more than half and add an estimated $482 billion to the national economy. In New Hampshire, where women earn 76.4 cents for every dollar earned by men, recent studies of the wage gap anticipate that it will take 62 years for working women and men to reach pay parity in our state. And in that time, another generation of women will come and go without receiving just compensation for their contributions.”

“It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. We’re not willing to wait until 2079 to resolve the issue of equal pay for equal work. The women of this country and our state have waited long enough.”

On #EqualPayDay, Shaheen Renews Call for Passage of Paycheck Fairness Act

Equal Pay Day, 2016

(Washington, DC) – This afternoon on Equal Pay Day, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) took to the Senate floor to renew her call for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would address the gender pay gap that continues to put female workers and their families at an economic disadvantage. Shaheen has been vocal about the need to address the gender pay gap, which leaves New Hampshire women, who make up nearly half of the state’s working population, earning just 76 cents on the dollar compared to their male counter parts. 

“The American people believe very strongly in fairness, equal treatment, and a level playing field for everyone,” said Shaheen on the Senate floor. “These are core American values.  And that’s why people find it shocking and unacceptable that women in the United States continue to be denied equal pay for equal work.”

“The wage gap is really damaging to the 40 percent of American women who are the sole or primary breadwinner in households with children. For these women, equal pay is not only about fairness, it’s also about providing adequately for their families,” Shaheen continued. “That’s why I strongly support the Paycheck Fairness Act because this legislation would empower women to negotiate for equal pay… This legislation is about basic fairness, it’s about equal treatment.  It is about creating a level playing field in the workplace for our daughters and granddaughters, and for every American.”

Shaheen is an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act and cosponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was signed into law six years ago. The Paycheck Fairness Act would empower women to negotiate for equal pay benefiting the more than 190,000 children in New Hampshire who live in households dependent on their mother’s income. Shaheen also noted that members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team are paid a quarter of the players on the men’s team despite generating more revenue.

 

Shaheen’s full remarks can viewed here.

The NH Democratic Party And Governor Hassan’s Statements on Equal Pay Day

Concord, N.H. – Today, on Equal Pay Day, New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Melissa Miller released the following statement regarding the persistent gender wage gap and the need for real public policy solutions to put an end to pay discrimination. 

Equal Pay Day marks the day that, on average, after three additional months of work, women’s wages catch up to what their male counterparts made the year before. Across the country, women earn an average of 79 cents on the dollar compared to men for full-time, year-round work, and the numbers are even worse for women of color. These gaps persist across industries and age groups.

“On Equal Pay Day, New Hampshire Democrats reaffirm our commitment to putting a stop to wage discrimination in all forms. Ensuring equal pay for equal work is a matter of fairness and a matter of economics—increasing women’s earnings boosts families’ spending power and strengthens their economic security.

“We salute our Democratic leaders like Governor Maggie Hassan, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Congresswoman Annie Kuster for their tireless efforts to make sure women across the Granite State are compensated fairly for a day’s labor.

“Their strong leadership on this issue stands in stark contrast to Republicans like Kelly Ayotte and Frank Guinta who have actively blocked progress on this issue by opposing the federal Paycheck Fairness Act and Gubernatorial candidates whose silence on this issue speaks volumes.

“Granite State Democrats won’t rest until equal pay for equal work is a reality for all, not just a campaign slogan.”

Governor Maggie Hassan, who is challenging Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who has voted against equal pay legislation in the US Senate released this statement on Equal Pay Day.

Many women are either the primary or co-breadwinners in their families, yet on average, women earn 79 cents on the dollar compared to what men earn for equal work.

“I was proud to sign the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 to strengthen our economic future and improve the financial security of working families by ensuring that Granite Staters would earn equal pay for equal work. This law eliminated loopholes, increased transparency in wages, gave workers more time to file claims, and helped ensure that all workers have the appropriate tools and resources to help them earn a fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.

“It is long past time for Congress to finally pass the federal Paycheck Fairness Act, which would build on our progress here in New Hampshire and strengthen our efforts to fight pay discrimination. It is extremely troubling that Kelly Ayotte has voted four times against the federal Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help ensure that women can earn equal pay for equal work. Last year, she even tried to cover up her record with a bill that would create loopholes that would continue allowing employers to prevent the sharing of salary information and keep women from determining when they are being paid less than their male counterparts. Granite Staters deserve a Senator who will always put the well-being of our women, children and families first.”

Local Businesses to Offer Women a Discount on Equal Pay Day to Highlight the Wage Gap

 Businesses in Portsmouth, Durham, Concord, and Keene will charge women 79% of their bill to highlight the wage gap that finds women earning only 79 cents to a man’s dollar

equalpayCONCORD, NH – In collaboration with the Stand With Women campaign of NH Citizens Alliance and Granite State Progress Education Fund, local businesses across New Hampshire will mark this year’s Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, April 12th by providing a discount to women equivalent to the percentage in wage gap. Businesses in Portsmouth, Durham, Concord, and Keene will stand in solidarity with women by charging them only 79% of their bill to highlight the wage gap that finds women earning 79 cents to a man’s dollar.

Equal Pay Day is the date each year that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. According to the latest data, female full time workers are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to a male worker. Pay disparity is worse for women of color: black female full time workers make 60 cents to a white male workers dollar, and Latino and Hispanic women make the lowest at 55 cents. These numbers reflect the difference in men’s and women’s typical earnings, using the median earnings of women and men full-time, year-round workers, and are impacted by the many discriminatory barriers to equal pay—including lower pay for women in the same job; the segregation of women into lower-paying jobs and exclusion of women from higher-paying, nontraditional jobs; bias against women with caregiving responsibilities; and lack of workplace policies to allow workers to care for families without paying a stiff economic penalty.

Five of the participating businesses will offer the discount all day long, on all menu items, and host media availabilities featuring the business owner and/or manager, along with local elected officials and advocates. Please note the following locations and times:

Portsmouth: The Works Bakery Cafe, 9 Congress St. Hours: 6am-5pm

RSVP on Facebook or to sheila@granitestateprogress.org

Durham: The Works Bakery Cafe, 5a Mill Road Plaza. Hours 6am-6pm

RSVP on Facebook or to sheila@granitestateprogress.org

Keene: The Works Bakery Cafe, 120 Main St. Hours 6am-6pm

RSVP on Facebook or to sheila@granitestateprogress.org 

Concord: VIBES Gourmet Burgers, 25 South Main Street. Hours 11:30am-8pm

*** Extra: Join us for a Stand With Women “Unhappy Hour” from 5:30-7:30 ***

RSVP on Facebook or to sheila@granitestateprogress.org 

Concord: The Works Bakery Cafe, 42 North Main St. Hours 6am-5pm

RSVP on Facebook or to sheila@granitestateprogress.org 

Concord: Gondwana & Divine Clothing Co., 13 North Main Street. Hours 10am – 6pm

*** Gondwana has been doing Equal Pay Day discounts for more than 20 years! ***

Granite State Rumblings: Dispelling Myths Around The Pay Gap

Next Tuesday, April 12th, is National Equal Pay Day. The day typically comes in early April and represents how far into the current year an average female employee would have to work to earn what her male counterpart brought home in the last calendar year.

Equal Pay Day comes more than a half century after President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which aimed “to prohibit discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers.” Despite that legislation and labor laws enacted since, the earnings gap between American men and women remains wide.

While searching the Department of Labor website for information about Equal Pay Day, I came across this great blog post by Dr. Pamela Coukos, a Senior Program Advisor at the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. It was written in 2012 but is still relevant today.

Myth Busting the Pay Gap

Surely it can’t be true. President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963. The very next year Congress passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned sex discrimination at work. Yet more than fifty years later, women still make less than men.

We live today in a world where women run Fortune 500 companies, sit on the Supreme Court, and push back the frontiers of knowledge. We live during a time when more young women than men hold bachelor’s degrees, and when women make up almost half of all new law school graduates. Given all our progress, there must be some explanation behind the fact that women still lag behind men when it comes to pay equity.

The Paycheck Fairness Act has failed to advance in the Senate, triggering a new round of conversation about the pay gap and what the numbers really mean. Research shows that even though equal pay for women is a legal right, it is not yet a reality. Despite the evidence, myths that women’s choices or other legitimate factors are the “real” cause of the pay gap persist. So does confusion about how to measure the gap and what figures to use. That’s why today, we are going to bust a few myths.

MYTH: Saying women only earn 77 cents on the dollar is a huge exaggeration – the “real” pay gap is much smaller than that (if it even exists).

REALITY: The size of the pay gap depends on how you measure it. The most common estimate is based on differences in annual earnings (currently about 23 cents difference per dollar). Another approach uses weekly earnings data (closer to an 18- or 19-cent difference). Analyzing the weekly figures can be more precise in certain ways, like accounting for work hours that vary over the course of the year, and less accurate in others, like certain forms of compensation that don’t get paid as weekly wages. No matter which number you start with, the differences in pay for women and men really add up. According to one analysis by the Department of Labor’s Chief Economist, a typical 25-year-old woman working full time would have already earned $5,000 less over the course of her working career than a typical 25-year old man. If that earnings gap is not corrected, by age 65, she will have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars over her working lifetime. We also know that women earn less than men in every state and region of the country, and that once you factor in race, the pay gap for women of color is even larger.

MYTH: There is no such thing as the gender pay gap – legitimate differences between men and women cause the gap in pay, not discrimination.

REALITY: Decades of research shows a gender gap in pay even after factors like the kind of work performed and qualifications (education and experience) are taken into account. These studies consistently conclude that discrimination is the best explanation of the remaining difference in pay. Economists generally attribute about 40% of the pay gap to discrimination – making about 60% explained by differences between workers or their jobs. However, even the “explained” differences between men and women might be more complicated. For example: If high school girls are discouraged from taking the math and science classes that lead to high-paying STEM jobs, shouldn’t we in some way count that as a lost equal earnings opportunity? As one commentator put it recently, “I don’t think that simply saying we have 9 cents of discrimination and then 14 cents of life choices is very satisfying.” In other words, no matter how you slice the data, pay discrimination is a real and persistent problem that continues to shortchange American women and their families.

MYTH: But the pay gap is not my problem. Once you account for the jobs that require specialized skills or education it goes away.

REALITY: The pay gap for women with advanced degrees, corporate positions, and high paying, high skill jobs is just as real as the gap for workers overall. In a recent study of newly trained doctors, even after considering the effects of specialty, practice setting, work hours and other factors, the gender pay gap was nearly $17,000 in 2008. Catalyst reviewed 2011 government data showing a gender pay gap for women lawyers, and that data confirms that the gap exists for a range of professional and technical occupations. In fact, according to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research that used information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women earn less than men even within the same occupations. Despite differences in the types of jobs women and men typically perform, women earn less than men in male dominated occupations (such as managers, software developers and CEO’s) and in those jobs commonly filled by women (like teachers, nurses and receptionists). In a recent review of 2010 Census data, Bloomberg found only one of 285 major occupations where women’s median pay was higher than that of men – personal care and service workers. Because the data showed a particularly large pay gap in the financial sector, Bloomberg suggested that for women on Wall Street, shining shoes was the best way to earn more than the men.

MYTH: Women are responsible for the pay gap because they seek out flexible jobs or choose to work fewer hours. Putting family above work is why women earn less.

REALITY: Putting aside whether it’s right to ask women (or men) to sacrifice financially in order to work and have a family, those kinds of choices aren’t enough to explain away the gender pay gap. The gender gap in pay exists for women working full time. Taking time off for children also doesn’t explain gaps at the start of a career. And although researchers have addressed various ways that work hours or schedule might or might not explain some portion of the wage gap, there may be a “motherhood penalty.” This is based on nothing more than the expectation that mothers will work less. Researchers have found that merely the status of being a mother can lead to perceptions of lowered competence and commitment and lower salary offers.

MYTH: We don’t need to do anything, the gender pay gap will eventually go away by itself.

REALITY: It has been nearly fifty years since Congress mandated equal pay for women, and we still have a pay gap. There is evidence that our initial progress in closing the gap has slowed. We can’t sit back and wait decades more. Just this year the Department of Labor launched an app challenge, working to give women the tools they need to know their worth. My office continues to increase its enforcement of requirements that federal contractors pay workers without discriminating on the basis of race or gender. And we are teaming up with other members of the National Equal Pay Task Force to ensure a coordinated federal response to equal pay enforcement. You can read more about our work on equal pay here.

The pay gap isn’t a myth, it’s a reality – and it’s our job to fix it.

Here is a look at where the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 862 and H.R. 1619)) currently stand from GovTrack.us.

Much has been made in recent years of the gender-based wage gap, with the oft-cited number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that full-time female workers make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. (Although some studies have indicated that the gap is negligible or virtually nonexistent after controlling for certain variables.) The main bill in this Congress to close the gap is the Paycheck Fairness Act, S. 862 and H.R. 1619, introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in the Senate and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT3) in the House.

This bill contains several proposed changes to federal law. It would amend the Equal Pay Act of 1963, currently the primary law governing this issue, to limit when employers can pay differently to “bona fide factors, such as education, training, or experience.” It would require the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to collect data on compensation, hiring, termination, and promotion sorted by sex.

It would also prevent employers from retaliating against employees for inquiring about or disclosing wage information at a company — perhaps the main method employees have of discovering such a gap in the first place. And it would “make employers who violate sex discrimination prohibitions liable in a civil action for damages.”

What supporters say

Virtually every congressional Democrat has signed on has a co-sponsor.

Mikulski said, “Equal pay is not just for our pocketbooks, it’s about family checkbooks and getting it right in the law books. The Paycheck Fairness Act ensures that women will no longer be fighting on their own for equal pay for equal work.” President Obama has also endorsed the legislation, saying “When women succeed here in America then the whole country succeeds… I’ve got two daughters, I expect them to be treated the same as somebody’s sons who are on the job.”

What opponents say

However, not everybody agrees. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA5), the highest-ranking woman in Republican leadership, said “Many ladies I know feel like they are being used as pawns and find it condescending that Democrats are trying to use this issue as a political distraction from the failures of their economic policies.” In fact, notably, not even a single Republican woman has signed on or signaled her support.

The bill faces a steep uphill climb in the Republican-controlled Congress. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI1) has voted against the House version multiple times. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has accused the legislation of being a “‘messaging bill… These are bills designed intentionally to fail so that Democrats can make campaign ads about them failing.” He also mocked the bills as being introduced by Democrats to “blow a few kisses to their powerful pals on the left” and that its main goal was so “The Democrats are doing everything they can to change the subject from the nightmare of Obamacare.” Republicans also warn that the bills would increase lawsuits, which in turn would raise the cost of doing business in America.

One Republican supporter

Only one Republican in either chamber has cosponsored the bill: Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ4). Smith was one of only three Republicans to vote for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first piece of legislation President Obama signed during his presidency in 2009, which extended the length of time women had to file wage discrimination lawsuits. The other two Republicans who voted in favor are both still serving — Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY1) and Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ7) — but neither have signed on as a co-sponsor to this bill.

What to expect

Both the House and Senate version have not received consideration since being introduced in March 2015 to their respective committees: Education and the Workforce Committee in the House; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Senate.

The bill (or a close variation of it) has been introduced in every Congress since 1997, with current Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) the lead sponsor of its 2005–06 and 2007–08 incarnations. The closest it came to enactment was passage by the then-Democratic House in 2009, but although the Senate voted in favor with 58 votes, that wasn’t enough to overcome the 60-vote barrier needed to dispel a filibuster

GROWING UP GRANITE

GSRmr2016

On Equal Pay Day, Granite Staters Reminded of Kelly Ayotte’s Opposition to Paycheck Fairness

The NH Paycheck Fairness Act Passed the State Senate Unanimously, Yet Ayotte Has Voted Four Times Against the Paycheck Fairness Act in Washington

Concord, N.H. – On Equal Pay Day, Granite Staters are reminded that despite the broad bipartisan support for the NH Paycheck Fairness Act (which passed unanimously in the State Senate), Kelly Ayotte has voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act four times in Washington.

Equal Pay Day marks how many days into this year women have to work in order to earn the same amount that men earned last year.

“Last year, I was proud to see members of both parties come together to pass the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women can earn equal pay for equal work,” said former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan. “It’s clear that Kelly Ayotte is representing the interests of her party’s leadership in Washington, not the interests of the people of New Hampshire who overwhelmingly support equal pay legislation, regardless of party affiliation.”

Ayotte Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act Four Times. [Vote 82, 3/24/15; Vote 262, 9/15/14; Vote 103, 4/9/14; Vote 115, 6/5/12]

Granite State Rumblings: Equal Pay Day

Today is equal pay day. The day typically comes in early April and represents how far into the current year an average female employee would have to work to earn what her male counterpart brought home in the last calendar year.

Equal Pay Day comes more than a half century after President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which aimed “to prohibit discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers.” Despite that legislation and labor laws enacted since, the earnings gap between American men and women remains wide.

Danielle Paquette writes in the Washington Post Wonkblog that closing the gender wage gap could pull half of single working moms out of poverty. Here is what she has to say:

More women than ever financially support their families. And with American women today earning 78.3 cents for every dollar a man makes, female workers who struggle economically often face a steeper climb to prosperity than their male counterparts.

Fixing this disparity could slash poverty in half for families with working women, according to a report published Wednesday from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the second installment in a series of seven.

The country’s number of working single mothers who live in poverty would drop from about 30 percent to 15 percent, researchers estimate, if they earned on average as much as comparably skilled men.

“A lot of attention is paid to the wage gap, but people aren’t necessarily thinking about it in terms of economic self-sufficiency or income inequality,” said Barbara Gault, executive director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Too often the gender picture is left out of that.”

Raises for women could drastically change the financial picture for a lot of families: About 40 percent of American households with children have female breadwinners, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. That share was just 11 percent in 1960.

The national push for pay parity is fueling progress — slowly. Over the past 30 years, inflation-adjusted median earnings for women’s full-time, year-round work rose nationally from $30,138 to $39,157, the IWPR found. Men’s earnings dipped slightly from $50,096 to $50,033. Still, researchers project that we won’t see equal pay until 2058.

To measure the wage gap’s effect on economic struggle, the IWPR authors used American Community Survey data from 2013 to take a closer look at U.S. households below the poverty line. They found single women with children fared far worse than single men with kids.

The well-documented obstacles working parents face, of course, contribute to this problem and aren’t restricted to one gender: Child-care costs remain sky-high (and often exceed the cost of rent in a family budget), paid leave is lacking in jobs across the country, and schedule flexibility is notoriously rare in American workplaces.

But jobs more often held by female workers without college degrees (child care, retail, administrative work) tend to pay much less than roles dominated by men with the same level of education (plumbing, electricity, contract work).

A complex web of factors exacerbate the wage gap. Poor women continue to face disproportionate financial challenges.

To see how the marriage gap and gender gap combine to affect pay for Americans at a local level, the Voter Participation Center (VPC) analyzed pay in all 50 states. The results are startling. In New Hampshire unmarried women on average earn $43,300 a year, or just 75% of what men earn ($58,000) on average. In Maine, unmarried women earn 68% ($33,800) of what men earn ($50,000).

When Opportunity Stops Knocking

New Hampshire’s Kids and the American Dream

Join a statewide conversation to share ideas with neighbors, hear the latest research, and inform the presidential primary campaigns about the increasing barriers our state’s children face in achieving their dreams.

Participants will learn about what the gaps are between the opportunities children have today compared with those of previous generations in our state. Research from the Carsey School and other sources will help frame the discussion.

Register at: nhlistens.org/events.

This May, New Hampshire Listens–part of the Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH–is hosting twelve local conversations across the state that will engage residents in an important conversation about the increasing barriers our state’s children face in achieving their dreams. Research from the Carsey School and other sources will help frame the discussion. Attendees will learn about what the gaps are between the opportunities children have today compared with those of previous generations in our state.

Every Child Matters in NH will be there and we invite you to join us at a conversation in your area. This is your opportunity to weigh in with your experience and your perception of the opportunities, barriers, and prospects for future generations.

This work is the culmination of several events and opportunities. First, awareness has increased across the state and nation about the realities of what our children can achieve economically, compared to previous generations. Second, prior to the release of Robert Putnam’s book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, cross partisan national leadership began reaching out to Putnam to bring his expertise and research to the issue of the country’s widening inequality gap. Finally the upcoming presidential primary season presents Granite State residents with a chance to voice their thoughts on these issues as our state becomes a first stop for those wishing to become president in 2016.

Governor Hassan Proclaims Equal Pay Day, Urges Support for New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act

Governor Submits Letter Encouraging House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee to Recommend Passage of Measure to Address Pay Equity 

CONCORD – Highlighting how pay equity will strengthen the economy and improve the financial security of working families, Governor Maggie Hassan proclaimed today Equal Pay Day in New Hampshire and submitted a letter to the House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee encouraging members to recommend passage of SB 207, the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation sponsored by Senator Sylvia Larsen of Concord that builds on the important equal pay law signed in 2000 by then Governor Jeanne Shaheen.

“Today, well over half of the women in our state are either the primary or co-breadwinners in their families. And yet, on average, women in New Hampshire earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to what men earn,” Governor Hassan wrote. “This disparity makes it more difficult for New Hampshire families to achieve financial prosperity and save for the future. It also puts further strain on our state budget and hurts our local businesses by taking money out of the pockets of consumers.

“The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 will strengthen New Hampshire’s economic future and improve the financial security of working families by providing the tools and protections needed to ensure equal paychecks for all Granite Staters,” Governor Hassan wrote.

The New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act updates state law by eliminating loopholes, increasing transparency in wages, and ensuring that all workers have the appropriate tools and resources to help them earn a fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.

“Eliminating the pay gap between women and men will strengthen our economy and the financial security of working families across the state,” the Governor’s letter continued. “I thank Senator Larsen and Speaker Norelli for sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act and encourage members of the committee to reaffirm the principle that an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay.”

Full text of the Equal Pay Day proclamation

Governor Hassan’s full letter the Senate Commerce Committee is below:

April 8, 2014
Representative Andrew White, Chairman
House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee
Room 307
Legislative Office Building, Concord

Dear Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

I write to you today in support of SB 207, the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014, a critical piece of legislation for New Hampshire’s economy and working families. Today, well over half of the women in our state are either the primary or co-breadwinners in their families. And yet, on average, women in New Hampshire earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to what men earn in comparable jobs. This disparity makes it more difficult for New Hampshire families to achieve financial prosperity and save for the future. It also puts further strain on our state budget and hurts our local businesses by taking money out of the pockets of consumers. 

 The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 will strengthen New Hampshire’s economic future and improve the financial security of working families by providing the tools and protections needed to ensure equal paychecks for all Granite Staters. It builds on the important equal pay law signed in 2000 by then Governor Jeanne Shaheen by eliminating loopholes, increasing transparency in wages, and ensuring that all workers have the appropriate tools and resources to help them earn a fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.

Eliminating the pay gap between women and men will strengthen our economy and the financial security of working families across the state. I thank Senator Larsen and Speaker Norelli for sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act and encourage members of the committee to reaffirm the principle that an equal day’s work deserves an equal day’s pay. Please recommend passage of SB 207.

Thank you for your consideration of this important legislation.

With every good wish, 

Margaret Wood Hassan
Governor of New Hampshire

Is A Woman Only Worth 80% Of A Man? Then Why Are Women Still Fighting For Equal Pay?

Fifty years ago, President Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act that was intended to end the wage gap that exist between men and women.  In 1963, the wage gap was 59 cents on the dollar for women in the workplace.  That is just over half what a man made for the same job (assuming they would have even hired her for the same job).  With fifty years of growth and progress, surely we have ended this silly gap and no longer need laws like this, right?  Sadly, no.

From BLS

From BLS

Today, a woman makes on average 80 cents on the dollar to a man.  That’s is truly sad, that we are still fighting the same fight over and over again.  Why?  That I cannot answer. What I can say is that there have been people who have always worked to reduce the wage gap: labor unions.

Labor unions have always been fighting back against discrimination of any kind. They fight back against racism and sexism the same way.  They treat everyone equal in every way.  Every member gets the same one vote.  Every member gets their voice heard.  Every one is paid the same for the same work.

Unions negotiate starting pay for workers as part of their contract.  That starting pay does not change if you are a white man, an African-American women, or vice-versa.  The base pay is just that: the base pay.  Everyone starts at the same place.

Some people, like Nashua State Rep Jan Schmidt understand this.  Here’s what she told me:

“People ask me why there are unions today… people who have no memory or sense of history, people who blindly believe that a person alone has complete power to shape their own fate, people who have listened to too much talk radio with their constant pounding of union-hate paid for by corporations that know if unions gain a foothold, they may have a few pennies less in their Cayman bank account.

“This is one reason we need to remember Equal Pay Day, corporations willingly pay the people they expect to buy their goods with wages so low that they leave the state picking up the food stamp cost for that family. To them (the corporation CEOs)… the pennies in their accounts are worth more than the lives they sacrifice.”

So when you ask me, hey Matt, how do we solve the gender wage gap? I will give you the same answer I have given time and time before: JOIN A UNION!

 

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