Moms Leader Praises New Equal Pay Law in Washington State
March 21, 2018
Statement from Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and executive director of MomsRising.org, a national online and on-the-ground organization of more than 40,000 members in Washington State and more than 1 million members across the country, on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signing the state’s equal pay bill into law
“The Equal Pay Opportunity Act (EPOA) that Gov. Inslee signed into law today is a victory for our state’s families, businesses, and economy. The law will ensure that employees can share wage or salary information with coworkers without fear of retaliation and create a new administrative remedy for employees experiencing wage discrimination based on gender identity as well as protections for women who are tracked into lower paying jobs or unfairly passed over for promotion. The EPOA will go a long way toward making Washington’s workplaces more equitable and our families more prosperous.
“Washington’s wage gap costs our state $18 billion each year. Women of color experience the highest levels of pay discrimination, and on top of that, moms take even bigger wage hits. These lost wages mean women and their families have less money to support themselves, save and invest for the future, and to spend on goods and services at local businesses. The EPOA will help correct this injustice, giving families better financial security and boosting our local economies.
“In the past year, Washington has shown great leadership in putting forth policies that champion women, families, and our economy. The EPOA follows closely on the heels of the groundbreaking paid family and medical leave law the state passed last year. Studies have consistently shown that these types of family-friendly policies – including paid leave, affordable child care and a living wage – all help to decrease the wage gap and boost businesses.
“MomsRising members in Washington played a critical role in shepherding this bill across the finish line. Moms, dads and others sent thousands of emails and made hundreds of phone calls to their legislators in support of the bill, MomsRising staff testified before the State House and Senate, and members rallied at the Capitol in February for a press conference with Gov. Inslee and to hand-deliver stories and petition signatures to key legislators. MomsRising and all our members are thrilled to see the EPOA become law – this is another important step on the path to pay equity in our state.”