Legislative Action Needed to Close the Gender Pay Gap and Help Women Stay in the Workforce
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2017
Anchorage – Sunday was the 8th anniversary of the signing of the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by former President Barack Obama. The act, which put in place requirements to equalize pay between men and women, was the very first piece of legislation signed by President Obama after he took office in 2009.
“Equal pay is a family issue, which is especially important because many Alaskan families are working hard yet still struggling to make ends meet,” said Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). “This is a matter of fairness because women should not lose out financially just because of their gender. The data is convincing and the time is now for the Alaska House and Senate to act by passing some meaningful legislation.”
Rep. Tarr has filed legislation to require an annual report to the Alaska State Legislature on the gender pay gap issue.
Rep. Tarr is being joined by YWCA Alaska in the effort to close the gender pay gap in Alaska.
“YWCA Alaska has resolved to work to eliminate the gender pay gap because fair pay for women is an economic issue, not a political one,” said YWCA Alaska CEO Hilary Morgan. “YWCA Alaska supports all efforts to educate businesses, public organizations, and women and girls about the impact of the gender pay gap on Alaskan families. “
In the nation, despite decades of improvement, women working full-time year-round, make only 78 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings. In Alaska, where 48 percent of the work force are women, the gap is worse, with women making approximately 67 cents for every dollar earned by men. If the pay gap continues at current rates, men and women in the Alaska will not reach pay equity until the year 2142.
“As Alaskans and Americans, it is time we go beyond paying lip service and give working women the justice of equal pay,” said Rep. Tarr. “I and my colleagues are working to strengthen our economy and protect jobs. Equal pay can help keep businesses competitive and keep the best employees. Equal pay is both fair and good businesses at the same time.”
Rep. Tarr’s HB 45 has been formally introduced for consideration during the ongoing 30th Alaska Legislature. The bill has been referred to the House State Affairs and Labor and Commerce Committees.
For more information, please contact House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.