Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fair Pay For Women Public Policy Agenda

Vision: The gender pay gap is eliminated.

Mission: Work toward public policy that accomplishes the following:

·      Women are paid equally as men for work of comparable value.
·      Work that is traditionally “women’s work” is valued by society and paid accordingly.
·      Poverty among women and single-parent households is reduced.
·      Women make choices and learn skills that result in higher pay.

Causes of the Gender Pay Gap:

·      Societal under-valuation of women-dominated professions.
·      External comparisons of pay and job titles that perpetuate past inequities.
·      A lack of attention by employers of internal pay differentials by gender.
·      Job and educational degree segregation.
·      Non-union jobs leading to lack of employee advocacy pertaining to pay.
·      Hours worked/attachment to workforce.
·      Salary negotiation skills.
·      Lack of employer transparency in employee compensation.
·      Sex bias. Sex bias plays a role in each of the above causes, but according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, differences between workers and their jobs explain about 60% of the pay gap, leaving 40% likely solely attributable to gender discrimination.
·      Combined sex bias and racism dramatically increases the effects of these factors on women of color and immigrant women.

Public Policy Agenda:

·      Encourage private industry to incorporate pay equity principles.
o   State contractors’ pay equity legislation.
o   State certification of “fair pay employers.”
·      Increase minimum wage.
·      Prohibit retaliation for discussion of compensation/require private employers to disclose salary range information.
·      Encourage the Minnesota Dept. of Human Rights to provide more visible support for both proactive and complaint-based efforts to enforce existing equal pay laws.
·      Affordable childcare.
·      Paid maternity and family leave.
·      Require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees.
·      Appoint OESW Executive Director.
·      Legislative resolution calling upon Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
·      Encourage women and girls to pursue STEM education and women entrepreneurs to start businesses in traditionally male industries, including STEM industries.
·      Ensure that existing opportunities for women-owned businesses through the state Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program are properly and fairly administered.
·      Provide women with training in salary negotiation skills.

·      Maintain and defend Minnesota’s state and local government pay equity laws.

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