On Wednesday, the Washington Legislature officially passed the Equal Pay Opportunity Act (HB 1506), the first update to the state’s equal pay law since 1943. This historic measure requires any gender disparity in pay to be backed up with legitimate job-related factors-such as education, training, or experience-instead of unfair assumptions and practices.
A Hawaii state senator is blocking a bill that would increase Hawaii’s minimum wage after a series of pay hikes that was enacted in 2014 came to an end this year.
As of Jan. 1, the state minimum wage stands at $10.10.
Arianna Espinoza says with that rate, she’s barely getting by working at a retail store in Ala Moana full time, while also attending college full-time.
“Not only am I paying for my own rent, I’m paying my own insurance,” the 20 year old said.
A proposed bill would bump up the minimum wage to $12.25 per hour in 2019, then to $15 per hour in 2020, but the chair of the Senate Ways and Means committee is refusing to give it a hearing without more research.
A bill at the State Capitol is gaining momentum in the movement to help women in the workplace earn just as much as their male counterparts.
According to the Hawaii Appleseed Center, women in Hawaii make 16% less than men.
“The problem is that women are paid less than men for doing the same work. Its ridiculous in this decade in a supposedly developed nation,” said Susan Wurtzburg of AAU Hawaii.
The bill serves employers a one-two punch-prohibiting them from asking a job applicant about their previous wage history. Senator Laura Thielen says in many cases, where people previously were underpaid, it is perpetuated in successive jobs.
Kentucky’s workforce development conversations focus almost exclusively on employers’ needs and perspectives and ask how public dollars can improve perceived deficiencies in the workforce. Such an approach ignores the increasingly difficult conditions employees face in the labor market, and the responsibilities employers should have to provide jobs that meet acceptable community standards.