Equal Pay Day at the State House

April 14th was Equal Pay Day and at the State House the day was filled with reflections and information on the current status of women’s pay. In Vermont, women make 83% of what a Vermont man makes according to a 2015 American Association of University Women report. Another report recently stated that it would take until 2048 for Vermont women to achieve equal pay to men. Clearly, we have a lot more work to do and the Equal Pay Compact is one way to help.

Vermont Equal Pay Compact was officially launched on Tuesday by Governor Shumlin and the Vermont Commission on Women. The Compact is a voluntary agreement in which employers pledge to take steps to eliminate the wage gap in Vermont. This Compact will help make progress towards equal pay in Vermont. To learn more about the Compact and how to sign on at: www.women.vermont.gov.

Some VT History on Equal Pay
In 2013, the Vermont Equal Pay Act was first tested in a case of Wendie Dreves who was employed by Hudson News at Burlington Airport. She was dismissed and her replacement, a 47 year old man, was given a higher original offer two thousand dollars more than she made after working for seven years. The court affirmed that any pay disparities must have business related reasons, such as the employee’s quality of work. The court also found that the company did not intend to discriminate, which is why it can often be so hard to find instances of unintended discrimination. Examples like this show why the Lily Ledbetter Act and Equal Pay Acts are necessary.

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