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posted Apr 13, 2013, 3:58 PM by Laramie County Democrats   [ updated Apr 13, 2013, 3:58 PM by Stacey Obrecht ]

From the Wyoming Democratic Party

For Immediate Release
April 20, 2010
Contact: Brianna Jones
Communications Director
(307) 752-5288 (cell)

Democratic Party Calls for Stronger Measures to Close the Gender Wage Gap

Casper, WY – In recognition of Equal Pay Day, the Wyoming Democratic Party is calling on Congress to take steps toward closing the gender wage gap. Today is Equal Pay Day because it symbolizes the time of the year when wages paid to American women ‘catch up’ to the wages paid to men from the previous year. That means additional work of almost five months for a woman to earn the same as a man.

Nationally, year-round, full-time working women earn only 77 percent that of a year-round, full-time working man, according to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau statistics. In the Equality State the disparity increases to 63 percent.

“This is an unacceptable situation. Over a lifetime wage disparity costs the average American woman and her family $700,000 to $2 million in lost wages,” said state Democratic Party Chair Leslie Petersen, “When women, who now make up half the workforce, are not financially secure neither is our nation.”

Despite Wyoming’s proud heritage as “The Equality State,” the state’s all-Republican congressional delegation voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Petersen urged Rep. Cynthia Lummis, Sen. John Barrasso and Sen. Mike Enzi to do a better job of standing up for Wyoming’s women on future votes related to gender equity.

“Women need to be given the tools that will help them to negotiate the wage they deserve and employers need to evaluate their wage policies to ensure women are being paid fairly. Last year we celebrated the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, though we were disappointed that our entire delegation, including Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis, inexplicably voted against it. Lilly Ledbetter was paid 20% less than her male co-workers for 19 years and she never knew it. We hope our Senators will do better when the Paycheck Fairness Act reaches the Senate,” said Petersen.