You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

POINT OF VIEW Pay equity for women is 50 years overdue


It is concerning that as we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, women in the U.S. and Florida continue to be paid less than their male counterparts.

In the U.S., women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. In the state of Florida, women earn 85 cents for every dollar a man earns. Florida’s lower gap, however, is not something to be particularly proud of since it is a result of the large number of minimum-wage earners in the state, causing our average salaries to be significantly lower than other states.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act. In the over 50 years since it was enacted, women still have not achieved parity in salary.

Florida has the chance to remedy this problem. Senate Bill 140 and House Bill 319, otherwise known as the Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act, provide that it is a clear violation of law for an employer to pay less to an employee based solely on gender. The legislation provides enforcement tools such as prohibiting job applicants from being screened based on prior wages, barring employers from taking retaliatory action against an employee who discloses their wages to a co-worker or inquires about another employee’s wages, and prohibiting assignment or directing an employee to a career track, which would be unlikely to lead to a promotion.

Pay inequality isn’t just a women’s issue; it is a family issue that has real consequences. Recent research has found that 50 percent of households with children include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family. Wage discrimination limits women’s and men’s choices. It impairs their ability to buy homes and pay for a college education, and limits their total lifetime earnings, thereby reducing their retirement savings and benefits.

America is a nation founded on the ideal that all of us are created equal, and that should hold true at home and at work. Paying being people fairly for the work they do should not depend on their gender. It is estimated that at the present rate Florida will not achieve pay equality until 2038. One day is too long; over 20 years is a travesty.

LORI BERMAN, BOYNTON BEACH

Editor’s note: Lori Berman represents District 90 in the Florida House of Representatives.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Letters Will country’s ideological divide drive us to second civil war?

Ideological divide driving us to war? With the end of an extremely contentious presidential election, it is clear that our country is more divided than ever. Sadly, I don’t see any way to heal this rift. Our country is divided by deep-seated ideological beliefs. Just before the Civil War, our country was also divided along ideological lines....
cartoon
cartoon

CARTOON VIEW MIKE LUCKOVICH
POINT OF VIEW Negative signals from Legislature suppress job numbers

Headlines across Florida recently highlighted the strong private-sector jobs created in January. It’s true, January was a banner month for jobs with 51,000 new jobs added in Florida. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news turns to concern. That’s because brand-new U.S. labor statistics show Florida created fewer jobs in 2016 than...
We’re against emotionalism, except when we’re not

Conservatives have rightly taken pride in Neil Gorsuch’s calm and cerebral performance at his Senate confirmation hearings. Many commentators, along with Republican senators, have mocked Democrats for presuming to evaluate Gorsuch based on the outcomes of his cases. Did he “side with the little guy” or with big corporations? The right...
Editorial: Glades’ worries deserve answers but shouldn’t kill reservoir
Editorial: Glades’ worries deserve answers but shouldn’t kill reservoir

State Senate President Joe Negron walked into a lion’s den last weekend at Pahokee High School. A spillover crowd wanted their district’s Republican senator to see how strongly they oppose a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, and how fearful they are that agricultural land would go out of production, taking their jobs and sinking their...
More Stories