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Bill would work toward equal pay for equal work

Despite national legislative efforts of the past, persistent gender pay inequity continues to negatively impact West Virginia’s economy.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “If employed women in West Virginia were paid the same as comparable men, their poverty rate would be reduced by more than one third.”

A West Virginia woman could put two years’ worth of food on her family’s table with the earnings she loses every year because of this pay gap. It’s essential that we adopt state legislation to help eliminate the pay gap for West Virginia women and in turn contribute to West Virginia’s economy.

A step in the right direction is the support of the Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan Fair Pay Act (HB2121). This bill, named after two prominent West Virginians who faced discrimination because of their race and gender, and never earned near what their male counterparts did at NASA, allows employees to discuss their pay with one another.

Pay transparency helps assure women are not discriminated against. Mountaineers go first — let’s be on the forefront of lifting families out of poverty and making sure that women are fairly compensated for the work they do. We must have policies that support pay equity, including pay transparency. These policies will make West Virginia stronger and help grow our economy. Please contact your legislators and ask them to support HB2121.

Carol Cain Bush

Elkins

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