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Lassa critical of unfair pay for women in workforce

Senator Julie Lassa
Senator Julie Lassa

MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- A central Wisconsin State Senator wants the state’s equal pay for equal work provisions reinstated. The law that required employers to pay men and women equally for comparable jobs was repealed in 2012. Senator Julie Lassa argues that it isn’t fair.  “In Wisconsin, most mothers work outside the home. It would make mom’s life a whole lot easier if she made the same wages as the men she works alongside. Despite the fact that most homes in America and in Wisconsin are led by two wage earning adults, women still earn only 77% as much as men on average, nationally.”

Lassa says a woman doing the same job as a man starting January 1st 2013 would have to work until April 8th of this year to catch up to the man’s annual income. She says that’s because the difference in average pay isn’t small. It’s over $10,000.  “Median earnings for men statewide were just over 46-thousand dollars compared to women’s median earnings of less than 36-thousand dollars, a disparity of over 10-thousand dollars a year. That’s an annual negative impact of more than 8 billion dollars on women, their families, and our entire economy.”

Lassa says the gap affects all races, ages, and professions.

The Wisconsin Legislature passed the Equal Pay Enforcement Act in 2009, but it was repealed in 2012 under Republican control.