I had a great question today asked by voting constituents. She and her husband wanted to know why I voted against the Equal Pay bill. We heard this bill in our House Business Affairs and Labor Committee and again on the House floor.
Foremost, I am a person who has experienced a difference in pay with my fellow men as much as $20,000 to $30,000 per year, depending on which male counterpart we are looking at. This issue is personal and emotional for me. I look to see if we are in fact going to solve the equal pay concerns women such as me have experience.
Many women do not know that Colorado already has an Equal Pay Act. It is not used or enforced as it should be. The proposed bill did not resolve the issue, which is prosecution and protection from retaliation. Instead, the proposed bill set up employers to not want to hire women – that women are more risky for litigation to hire. Consequently, I voted against this bill because I want women to be hired.
Curiously, if women are paid less than men then employers would be flocking to hire women more so than men you would think. Still, women struggle for employment more than men, as do minorities.
In the end, give me a bill that solves our real problem of prosecution and retaliation and I’ll be there and vote for it. But to patronize women for the sake of their vote – no way. We deserve more respect than that.