Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I took to the streets asking about equal pay for women

Equal pay for women affects over 50% of the voters in the upcoming elections. It would seem on this one issue alone Joe should be voted out of office, if only more people knew that Joe Knollenberg voted against equal pay for women by voting against the Paycheck Fairness Act. So, I took to the streets and here is one of the interviews with a local Rochester resident, one of Joe's constituents, and I'm sure her comments on this issue are felt by women all across the district.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, closing loop holes and improving the law's effectiveness. The Paycheck Fairness Act would, among other things, deter wage discrimination by strengthening penalties for equal pay violations, and by prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about employers' wage practices or disclose their own wages. The bill also requires employers to show that wage gaps are truly a result of factors other than sex, collect better data on wages, reinstate activities that promote equal pay at the Department of Labor, and develop training for women and girls on salary negotiations. The bill's measured approach ensures that women can obtain the same remedies as those discriminated against based on race.

Did you know:

Women working full-time, year-round earn only about 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, virtually the same amount women earned in 2004. In 2005, the median annual earnings of women ages 15 and older were $31,858, compared to $41,386 for their male counterparts.

There is not a single state in which women have gained economic equality with men. As of 2002, Washington, D.C. was the area with the smallest wage gap, at 92%, whereas Wyoming had the widest gap, with women making about 66% of what men earned.

As women get older, the wage gap for them widens. When women start their careers, the pay gap is relatively small: females aged 15 to 24 working full-time year-round have median annual earnings that are 96% of what their male counterparts earn. However, by the time they reach the critical years leading up to retirement, that 4% pay gap has increased more than seven times: women aged 45 to 64 who work full-time earn only 70% of what men do.

For more information on this issue visit: http://www.pay-equity.org/info-leg.html

Congressman Joe Knollenberg voted NO on this legislation. How will you vote on Joe Knollenberg on November 4?

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