Louisiana comes in next to the bottom for unequal pay and is tied for 50 out of 51 (studies include Washington, D.C.). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women in Louisiana make only $0.69 for every $1.00 men make for doing the same work. Many people think that the existing federal and state laws have solved this problem years ago. However, even one year after graduating from college, women and men are already seeing a significant gap in wages.
Over a lifetime, the wage gap could mean as much as a $500,000 difference in total earnings. Some of this can be explained by the career choices that women sometimes make or because women leave the workforce to care for young children or aging parents in greater numbers than men. Even with these considerations, about 12 percent of the wage gap is not “explained away” by these decisions.
Bills have been filed in the Louisiana House (HB 453 by Barbara Norton) and Louisiana Senate (SB 153 by Edwin Murray and SB 68 by Karen Carter Peterson) for this legislative session. The League of Women Voters of Louisiana urges legislators to support these bills and for residents to contact their legislators expressing their support for passage of a pay equity bill. Paying women and men the same pay will do more to decrease the number of children living in poverty than almost any other action.
For more information, contact the League of Women Voters of Louisiana at lwvofla.org or connect with the League on Facebook at facebook.com/LWVofLA.
The League of Women Voters of Louisiana is calling on legislators, employers, and concerned citizens to stand up and say “Enough already! Women and men who are doing the same job are entitled to the same pay!” Tuesday, April 9 is Equal Pay Day, the date symbolizing just how far into 2013 women must work to earn what men earned in 2012.