Letter: Important step for women
On Tuesday, Gov. Maggie Hassan signed into law SB 207, the Paycheck Fairness Act. I would like to thank the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Sylvia Larsen, for her commitment and effectiveness in helping to raise the level of economic security experienced by women and their families in New Hampshire.
According to the United States Census Bureau, New Hampshire women working full time, year-round earn 77 cents for every dollar paid to comparable male workers. That translates to the loss of $11,000 per year due to pay inequality.
This disparity in pay not only undermines women’s retirement security, it depresses the income of working families who rely on the wages of all members of the family to make ends meet.
Furthermore, this pay gap has remained the same for a decade: In 2012, as in 2002, women in New Hampshire were paid 77 percent of what men were paid. SB 207 closes the loopholes in the definition of equal pay and requires employers to show that wage differentials between men and women doing the same job stem from factors other than sex.
If discrimination is found to have occurred, the new law allows up to four years of back pay be awarded. New Hampshire citizens have been justly served by the passage of this legislation.
The time has come to finally close the wage gap and allow all workers, men and women, to reach their full economic potential.