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Idaho Legislature Set to Take Up Pay Equity

March 9, 2009

Boise, ID – A little something has been missing from Idaho women's paychecks – and it amounts to a 40 percent dent in salaries. According to statistics quoted by the Idaho Women's Network (IWN), the state's female workers earn only 62 cents for every dollar a man earns in the same job with the same education and experience. IWN says this inequity is the fourth-highest in the country.

The Idaho legislature is set to take up a resolution this week calling for pay equity. Taryn Magrini, IWN public policy director, says it's a resolution lawmakers should support.

"It acknowledges that the pay disparity in Idaho is genuine and reaffirms that women deserve equal pay for equal work."

Those opposing the resolution say Idaho already has a pay equity law on the books. They contend that the studies do not compare jobs fairly.

Magrini says progress on closing the pay gap has been particularly slow in Idaho.

"The first step in addressing the problem is to really educate ourselves on the persistence of the problem, and to build community awareness."

To do that, the resolution also would declare April 28 as "Equal Pay Day."

The resolution is HCR 23. The House Commerce and Human Resources Committee will hold a hearing on it either today or Wednesday.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID