Push for equal pay going nowhere with state legislators

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — For many, July 31, 2017 was just another Monday; but for black women, it holds a deep significance.

It represents the end point in the amount of time it takes them to make the same amount of money on average as a white non-Hispanic male, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

Black women make on average 63 cents for every dollar their white male counterparts make, according to the NWLC’s research.

Many of those women are the heads of households which extenuates the wage gap issue.

In an attempt to set an example for the private sector and encourage equality in pay in communities across Ohio, Representative Stephanie Howse has co-sponsored House Bill 180 to address this issue.

It is the second session she has introduced the bill; last session it was heard in committee a single time.

This time around she hopes people in Ohio will motivate their legislators to take another look at it and give it a full run through committee.

“It’s very easy to dismiss a problem that you’re not living with, that you don’t feel; you can disregard it,” said Howse.

Her legislation would do three things; create a standardize pay structure for public sector jobs based on the job description and experience level; force private companies receiving taxpayer funding to guarantee they are paying employees equally, and create a whistleblower clause to protect employees who find a company breaking the rules.

Monday, Howse with the help of City of Columbus Councilwoman Jaiza Page gathered women from the public and private sector to discuss the issue.

Page hopes to see movement on an initiative at the city level by the end of the year.

Howse says she needs the voters help to get things rolling with her Republican colleagues.

“It might not be the largest of their constituency base, but they matter, and we should be working to do things to ensure that people are just being treated right, you know, if it was your mother; if it was your daughter; what would you want,” questioned Howse.

During their lifetime, the NWLC estimates that a black woman will make $728,680 less than a white man who performs the same job.

That is the equivalent of a house or college education for multiple children.

All Howse asks is you think about what kind of effect that has on the African American community.

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