Reader says the pay gap is alive and well


Despite what my representative claims, I have no hidden agenda. I support an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) for Delaware. [State] Rep. [Rich] Collins [online, on May 21] throws out a number of “red herrings” related to potential judicial interpretations as reasons for a No vote on HB 399, which reads “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex.”

Rep. Collins reminds us that inequitable pay based on sex has been illegal for 55 years. True, but it does still exist, and it hurts women and our families.

To support his insistence that any “alleged pay gap” is the result of women’s occupational and life choices and not sexual discrimination, he quotes from a 2009 study done for the Department of Labor, ”An Analysis of the Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Women and Men.”

The researchers examined 50+ peer-reviewed papers and repeatedly stated that there was too little long-term data, too few workers and too few occupational/industrial factors to definitively determine why the pay gap exists. (The Pay Gap is Alive and Well—and Hurting Women, Jan. 10, 2016, Fox Business).

In virtually every work environment, whether clerical, financial, management or professional, there are pay inequities between women and men with the same education and responsibilities. Whether that gap is 23 percent or 6 percent, it exists and is discriminatory. The proposed ERA would help eliminate it for women in Delaware state, county and local government jobs!

Patricia Frey