Washington State House Democrats


Rep. Senn’s Pay Disparity Bill Receives Media Coverage

Rep. Senn introduced HB 1646 to require employers to explain why they pay employees differently. Her legislation, an effort to determine why pay disparities exist between men and women, has received attention and is highlighted in this Crosscut article. Read more below:

Women’s pay doesn’t pencil out

Figures put out by the the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics this week show that Washington women made 79.3 percent of what men did in 2013, 21st in the country and below the 82.1 percent nationwide average. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the ratio of women’s to men’s earnings here has ranged from between 71.9 percent in 2000 to 79.5 percent in 2007. As Crosscut’s John Stang reported last week, legislators are looking at bridging the pay gap between men and women. Bills introduced by Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island. Senn and Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, would require employers to provide valid reasons for pay disparities. They would also forbid employers from ordering workers not to disclose salaries or sharing pay information with each other. In case you were wondering, the other Washington has the smallest gap — only 8 percentage points different. Louisiana has the largest gap at 34 percentage points difference. — D.K.