Letter to the editor: Working for free, the whole equal pay story

Working for free, the whole equal pay story

Are you willing to work four extra months for free? How about five, seven or even 10 extra months? That's what is happening to working moms, African American women, American Indian and Latina women because of pay inequality.

Equal Pay Day April 12 symbolizes how far into 2016 women must work to earn what men did in 2015. ( Ten extra months of work is October! )

Over a working lifetime this wage disparity costs the average American women and their families $440 thousands to $2 million in lost wages. These are 2010 figures. Imagine the wage loss now! Lower wages not only impairs women's ability to buy homes or pay for college, it means less financial security upon retirement because of lower

Social Security benefits, pension plans and saving ability for their livelihood. Many women live in poverty in their retirement due to in part to lower wages.

The pay gap also impacts the economic security of families. The vast majority of families are dependent upon the women's paycheck to make ends meet. Possible it is the only paycheck.

Minimum wage is a hot topic this election year. It has already helped to push states to raise their minimum wage. In New York and California the wage is now $15 up from $10. Minimum wage is a good start towards better paying jobs. But women will never close the wage gap if we don't demand fair and just treatment from our employers, lawmakers and leaders. The all important Paycheck Fairness Act Bill which will give women the tools to fight wage discrimination in the workplace is again sitting in Senate and House Committees. Both women and men need to call, E-mail, Facebook or write our representatives and remind them that the pay gap is real and it's an issue that matters to millions of women and their families. Press them to get the Paycheck Fairness Act out of committee and on to the floor for a vote in the upcoming 115 Congress.

— Jennifer Kern Bennington


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