Indiana State Reps. Lawson, VanDenburgh
As Equal Pay Day is recognized nationally today [Tuesday Apr 7] Democratic State Representatives Linda Lawson of Hammond and Shelli VanDenburgh of Crown Point say Indiana continues to lag behind in providing equity in wages earned by men and women. “Equal Pay Day is the day where, on average, women’s pay catches up to what men earned the previous year,” Lawson said. “That means it takes a woman a little over 15 months to earn the same amount that a man earns in a year.” VanDenburgh added, “While there are efforts under way at the national level to do something about this outrageous inequity, we think the time is right to mention that Indiana is particularly guilty of doing nothing about reducing this gap.” Both lawmakers have made efforts in recent years to address the issue. In 2009, Lawson authored House Enrolled Act 1133, which asked legislative leaders to direct the state’s Pension Management Oversight Commission to conduct a wage equity study of state employees, and earlier this year VanDenburgh proposed the creation of a commission studying pay disparities between men and women, but neither idea advanced. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote this week on the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that requires employers to show that wage differences are caused by job requirements rather than being based on gender. “Here are the facts in Indiana: right now working women in our state earn only about 73 cents for every dollar earned by a man,” VanDenburgh said.