Target: Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
Goal: End unequal pay for women by closing loopholes in equity laws.
Oregon could soon end the pervasive discrepancy in wages that men and women receive for equal work if two proposals in the state legislature become law. This is a longstanding issue of gender equality that has plagued our society for far too long. Demand that Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber sign the legislation into law when it arrives on his desk.
Two proposals are currently under consideration in Oregon. One would address a loophole in current gender discrimination laws that lets employers get away with paying different wages for equal work by giving employees technically-different job titles. It would do this by introducing the concept of “equivalent work” into the laws, so that a woman would have a legal right to the same wages as a man for doing work that “required skills, training, education, effort, responsibility, and working conditions” that were the same. The second proposal would make it easier for women to find out if they were being discriminated against by making it illegal to discipline employees for discussing their salaries with each other.
Women across the country face pay discrimination, and these proposals would work to close that gap. Sign the petition below to demand that Oregon governor John Kitzhaber sign them into law.
Dear Governor Kitzhaber,
I am writing you today regarding two pieces of legislation that will, hopefully, arrive on your desk for your signature in the near future. They are designed to close the gender wage gap that has, for decades, withheld the money that women have rightfully earned for their work. I urge you to pass them into law.
Women across the country receive only 78 percent of what men make—and, not to minimize the severity of that gap, that is only white women compared to white men. For women of color, the gap is even more extreme. African American women only get 64 percent of what white men make, Native American women only get 60 percent, and Hispanic and Latina women only receive 53 percent. Fighting gender wage discrimination is not only a women’s justice issue, then, but a racial justice issue as well. House Bills 2006 and 2007 will help Oregon in this fight by closing loopholes in existing anti-discrimination laws and giving women legal protection for discussing their wages with their coworkers.
Legislation like these bills keep getting blocked by Congress at the federal level, so states must take it upon themselves to do what they can to fix this issue. I demand that you do that by signing these bills into law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: dbking via Flickr