NJ Female Dems Claim Christie Silent On Equal Pay [AUDIO]
If you're woman working in America, you're probably not getting paid as much a man who is doing the exact same job.
The Institute for Women's Policy Research released a study in April revealing that women nationally earn 77 cents to every dollar earned by men. Those numbers are accurate for New Jersey as well and a group of Female Democratic leaders from the Garden State are demanding to know where Governor Chris Christie stands on the issue.
New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt are calling on Christie to support equal pay legislation in New Jersey as women across the state gather to participate in the 2012 Governor's Conference for Women.
Four bills recently passed the Assembly that would make it easier for women to get equal pay for equal work and companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate. They were sponsored by Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt.
Oliver explains, "Women are not some monolithic bloc to be fought over. We are not an interest group. We make up more than half of America. We are co-workers, neighbors, friends, mothers and daughters, sisters and wives and we want what all Americans want. We want hard work to pay off, and responsibility to be rewarded."
The Lampitt-sponsored bills would require employers to inform workers of their rights to be free of gender inequity or bias in pay; lengthen the statute of limitations for employees to take action against unlawful compensation practices; prohibit employer retaliation if an employee divulges certain job information; and require state contractors to file information on the employees they hire.
"It's unfortunate that our Governor has been silent on this legislation to date," says Lampitt. "I hope that Governor Christie isn't planning on taking the same approach that the candidate he supports for President Mitt Romney has taken which is to act as though they want to dismiss the facts and write their own version of reality when it comes to equal pay for equal work."
Christie is not actually silent on the issue. His spokesman, Michael Drewniak says, "The Christie Administration supports equal pay for equal work. If this specific legislation passes in the Senate and makes its way to the Governor's desk, he'll review and consider it."
"In the coming weeks legislation will be introduced in the New Jersey Senate to compliment a four-bill package recently passed by the State Assembly designed to combat pay discrimination and close New Jersey's $15.8 billion annual wage gap between working class men and women across New Jersey," says Weinberg. "This legislation is critically needed in New Jersey because just like many states across the nation women in New Jersey continue to earn only 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns."
New Jersey already has a law on the books that matches federal statute barring unequal pay based on a worker's sex.