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Wage Gap Bills Move To The House Floor

Bob Beck
Wyoming Public Radio

Three bills that are intended to help fix Wyoming's wage gap are headed to the House Floor. Wyoming ranks 50th in the country when it comes to how much women earn on the dollar compared to men.

The House Labor Committee strongly supported a bill that would increase the penalty for equal pay violations from $200 to $500 and also easily passed a measure preventing employers from punishing those who disclose their salaries to other employees.

A bill that would both study and promote pay equity was approved on a narrow 5-4 vote. Among other things, it would encourage new businesses to address pay equity through policy and reports. Laramie Democrat Cathy Connolly said she was a little surprised about the pushback that bill received.

"They already have other reporting requirements, including obligations to stay in Wyoming, how many employees are being hired. What their wages are? Contributions to the community, things like that. You know simply addressing the wage gap is just part of that package."

Connolly added that the discussion showed her that lawmakers need more education on the issue.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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