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Equal Pay Day Finds NV Women above National "Pay Gap" Average

Women make almost 15 percent less than men in Nevada, which is better than the national gender pay gap of 21 percent. (IS_imagestore/morguefile)
Women make almost 15 percent less than men in Nevada, which is better than the national gender pay gap of 21 percent. (IS_imagestore/morguefile)
April 12, 2016

LAS VEGAS - Equal Pay Day is today, April 12, this year - so, it now takes women almost 16-and-a-half months to earn what men make in a year.

A new study from Congress' Joint Economic Committee says in Nevada, men make almost 15 percent more than women, which is actually better than the national pay gap of 21 percent.

Noreen Farrell, executive director with the nonprofit group Equal Rights Advocates, suggests the Silver State follow the lead of neighboring California, and pass a law protecting workers who compare salaries.

"Nevada does not prohibit retaliation against workers who talk about pay," she says. "And what we've found is pay secrecy is really one of the number one reasons why pay discrimination can fester and go unaddressed."

Farrell says the pay gap has barely moved in the past 10 years for women overall, and has worsened for women of color.

She's concerned, Latinas in particular, are concentrated in certain professions, such as live-in housekeeping, that are exempt from overtime and minimum-wage rules.

"It would be great if Nevada considered a bill that makes sure that industries in which women of color predominate are not exempted from fair-pay laws," Farrell says. "And that they're really clear about equal pay for same work."

The report's authors conclude the U.S. should do what other first-world economies have, guarantee such family-friendly policies as paid family leave, universal child care and flexible work arrangements.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV