By State Rep. Jessie Danielson
Every morning as I get ready to go into work, I’m doing so while taking care of my 10-month-old daughter Isabelle. I routinely catch myself thinking about how inspired by her I am. Working toward a better, more just, and more equitable world for her to grow up in is a big reason for the work I do under the gold dome.
I am sponsoring HB18-1378, The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, because I believe that hard-working Coloradans deserve a fair shot at economic security. I want Isabelle and all Colorado daughters to enter the workforce without the kind of discrimination we face today.
Women are still being paid far less than men for the same work, and that hurts Colorado families. We must pass common sense measures to close the wage gap – not only is it the right thing to do, but it will grow Colorado’s economy by billions and help families save for the future.
My new bill will make sure all qualified employees know about job opportunities when jobs are announced – not just those handpicked insiders. It will make sure companies disclose salary ranges for jobs so that employees can better advocate for what they deserve. The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act also allows people who have been discriminated against to take action and hold “bad actors” – those irresponsible corporations and companies – accountable.
According to The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, women in our state earn an average of 86 cents for every dollar men earn for the same work. The numbers are worse for Latinas, who earn 53.8 cents on the dollar, and black women, who earn 63.1 cents for every dollar earned by white men for the same work.
And, the negative effects caused by the wage gap compound. Over a woman’s lifetime, she will take home an average of $500,000 to $1.2 million less in income. Let’s call it what it is: wage discrimination.
Isabelle deserves better than that. Daughters across Colorado and the nation deserve better than that. It is time to demand fairness and pass the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.
Jessie Danielson represents State House District 24 in Jefferson County, and serves as Speaker Pro Tempore of the state House of Representatives. Rep. Danielson’s legislative office phone is 303-866-5522. Her website is www.jessiedanielson.com.