Today marks seven years since President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, making it easier for women to fight wage discrimination in the workplace. This was an important step to reduce the pay gap – which currently means women make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes.
In 2014, the DFL-controlled legislature took the lead to pass the Women’s Economic Security Act , advancing equal pay and protections for working mothers in Minnesota. While some Republicans supported this legislation, they aren’t supporting most proposals that would make the workplace more equitable such as paid family leave, earned sick and safe time, and fair scheduling.
The 2016 legislature’s focus should be on expanding opportunity for all Minnesotans –including women and their families. Unfortunately, Republicans haven’t joined the discussion on how to further reduce the pay gap and ensure that our laws better reflect the needs and values of today’s working families. It’s no surprise Republicans aren’t prioritizing these issues, when you remember they’re backed by corporations that stand to make fewer profits if they have to pay women what they deserve and offer other benefits to families.