Stay engaged, involved, and up-to-date: Week of 04/03/2017

In this week’s update, we ‘celebrate’ Equal Pay Day, highlight Columbus’ new paid family leave policy, and share updates on bills impacting women that are moving at the Ohio Statehouse.

Today, April 4th, marks Equal Pay Day 2017, the day when the average woman’s wages catch up to the average man’s wages from the previous year.

According to new research from the National Partnership for Women & Families, women employed full-time, year round in Ohio are paid just 75 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual wage gap of $12,686 — and the disparities are even greater for women of color.

Join advocates fighting for equal pay for equal work by adding your voice to the Equal Pay Day Twitter Storm this afternoon from 2:00 PM — 3:00 PM, using the hashtag #EqualPayDay.

From left to right: Columbus city council member Elizabeth Brown, Columbus Women’s Commission Chair Shannon Ginther, and representatives from JP Morgan Chase and AARP

Last week, Columbus City Council member Elizabeth Brown announced that Columbus would be rolling out a paid family leave policy later this year for its 8,500 city employees.

Columbus will join over 45 US cities — including Dayton and Cincinnati — that have enacted paid leave policies, and are building momentum for a national law such as the FAMILY Act.

Over two-thirds of women in Ohio are the sole, primary, or co-bread winner, yet workplace policies have failed to keep up with this reality of the modern family. Paid family leave is a commonsense, family-friendly policy that helps preserve critical wages and promotes greater balance for the demands of work and family.

#OHLeg Alerts:

We are tracking the progress of any state bills affecting women in the Ohio Legislature for the 132nd General Assembly. Here’s a quick overview of some key highlights from the last two weeks:

  • HB 1 — This bill would extend domestic violence protections to victims of dating violence. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a second hearing on the bill last Tuesday. The bill previously passed out of the House with a 92–2 vote.
  • HB 138 — Legislation that was introduced last week, would establish an equal pay discrimination hotline where workers could anonymously report instances of alleged wage discrimination. It was assigned to the House Economic Development, Commerce & Labor committee, but does not have any hearings scheduled.
  • HB 149 — New legislation introduced last week and assigned to the House Health committee would expand the crime and increase the penalty for abortion trafficking.
  • HB 160 — Ohio is one of 28 states where it is still legal to be fired from a job for being LGBTQ. This bill, introduced by Rep. Nicki Antonio, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
  • SB 7 — Aiming to strengthen protection orders for victims of domestic violence, the House Criminal Justice Committee held a second hearing on the bill last Tuesday. The bill advanced out of the Senate in March with a unanimous vote.

We are also sharing timely legislative updates on these and other women-centric legislation on Twitter using the #OHLeg hashtag. Follow us to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Statehouse.

TAKE ACTION: Equal pay is good for women, working families, and the economy. In honor of Equal Pay Day, contact your Representative and urge them to sign on as a co-sponsor of HB138. Then contact the Committee Chairman, Rep. Ron Young, and ask him to hold hearings on the bill.

Sign-up for the Women’s Public Policy Network email alerts to stay up-to-date on legislative updates and calls to action here.

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