RI Senate passes wage gap laws on Equal Pay Day

Casey Dawson
April 11, 2018

Every year, organizers with the National Committee on Pay Equity choose a date in April to mark "National Equal Pay Day", which, in theory, represents the extra time in the year a woman would have to work to make as much as a white man did the previous year.

It's #EqualPayDay and the nation is buzzing with calls to close the gender wage gap.

Black women are among those who suffer the steepest wage gap in the country.

Native women struggle with similar professional barriers; it is reported that they have to work nine extra months to make the same salary as white men make, so their Equal Pay Day for 2017 won't roll around until September 2018.

Louisiana (30 cents), Utah (30 cents) and West Virginia (28 cents) have the highest cents-on-the-dollar gap. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2016 for every dollar paid to men, women made on average 80.5 cents.

Bombardier's rail division had a 2.8 per cent gap on hourly wages but paid 14 per cent higher bonuses to women.

The group found that within the first two years of working in tech, women ask for and receive 98% of what men earn in the same job at the same company, meaning the pay gap is 98 cents to $1 at this stage. "Sixty-one percent of Americans are less likely to buy a product from a company that doesn't pay women fairly, and nearly a third will not apply to a company with a gender pay discrepancy".

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According to recent statistics, women make 89 cents for every dollar made by a man in a similar position in NY.

In a statement, National Partnership president Debra Ness said claims that wage disparity might be based entirely on women's choices are unfounded.

"These lost wages mean women and their families have less money to support themselves, save and invest for the future, and spend on goods and services".

Nationally, the wage gap is worse for women of color.

But in addition to the lack of awareness there is another problem perpetuating pay inequity: Women have been gaslighted into believing that it's an obstacle they have to surmount on their own in order to get a fair salary. "This suggests that the disruption to the early career of women who have children in their late 20s and early 30s is more harmful than either having a child before the career is really started or having it later, when the woman is established in her career", the researchers write in the paper.

Advocates of the Equal Pay Day narrative don't include this fine print in their advertising.

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