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Apr 11, 2013 7:35 PM by Akeam Ashford

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Three lawmakers have proposed legislation targeting equal pay for women this legislative session. Nationally, Louisiana ranks 50th in gender pay equality. According to the 2011 census, women in Louisiana, on average, make close to $32,000 compared to men, who make more than $46,000.

The three bills filed this legislative session are: Senate Bill (SB) 68 which would establish the Louisiana Equal Pay Act for Women, SB 153 which would permit employee's to sue their employer over pay inequality, based on gender discrimination, and House Bill (HB) 453 which would require businesses with more than 20 employees to pay women equal to men.

Sally Donlon, with the Lafayette League of Women Voters, says women have more professional degrees than men, but are making less money on average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a survey of 50,000 households across the country show women making $0.77 on the dollar compared to men. "However in our district locally, it's even worse for women here who make on average $0.61 on the dollar," says Donlon.

Representative Barbara Norton, of Shreveport, has filed HB 453, which would require businesses with more than twenty employees to pay women equally; which in turn, would help Louisiana close it's gap on pay inequality."I think its a win win for everyone one when i think about the fact of how many women are head of their households, how many women are responsible for their children, we need this to pass," says Norton.

Akeam@katctv.com

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