Last week, the Alabama legislature passed HB225, prohibiting employers from having discrepancies in pay among employees that do equal work. The law will go into place in August 2019, to ensure equal pay excluding seniority and merit, to all working citizens of Alabama.
The democratic representative, Rep. Adline Clake, was inspired to write the bill after reading Lilly Ledbetter’s book “Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond.” Ledbetter, also an Alabama Native, inspired this act as well as others such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009. Although this bill guarantees equal pay for equal work, it does not extend to different salaries, and makes it hard to report a discrepancy by only allotting 180 days to file a claim.
Although the pay gap is still in effect, both representative Clarke and Ledbetter have paved ways in the fight for equal pay and for highlighting this national issue. National Equal Pay day this year was on April 2nd, 2019, the day into 2019 that women on average have to work until to earn the same amount earned by their male counterparts in 2018 alone.
The 2018 statistics on the wage gap found that women in part-time and full-time positions made 85% of their male co-workers, meaning that women have to work an extra 39 days into 2019 to match what men made in 2018. However, this statistic represents the average for all women regardless of race. Black Women’s equal pay day isn’t until August 22nd, Native American Women’s payday isn’t until September 23rd and Latin American women’s equal pay day isn’t until November 20th. These statistics showcase the real disparities that exist among all women, as Equal Pay Day alone does not tell the whole story.
This day is highlighted by the National Committee on Pay Equity to put pay inequality in the limelight and expose the remaining two states, North Carolina and Mississippi, who have no equal pay protection on the state level.
Media Resources: Al.com 6/12/19, Feminist Newswire 4/2/19