Equal Pay for Women fails in Committee
Representatives Amanda McAfee and Representative Morgan Atkinson of Cincinnati YMCA proposed Legislative Bill #GH 27 for equal pay for women. McAfee said she strongly believes this law should be passed under the Fourteenth Amendment.
“It’s 2017 and equal pay for women should have been done by now, so we need to take action. Men and women should be equal,” McAfee said. “It came pretty easy to write because we both felt very strongly and all the facts are there. The Fourteenth Amendment says everyone should be equal, but I don’t know why women aren’t equal in the workforce yet.”
Atkinson said this bill will try to accomplish legislation that has failed to be enforced. She said women should not have to make $0.78 to a man’s dollar while working.
“People have tried to make this legal, but it has failed to be enforced,” Atkinson said. “Women can do anything they choose to accomplish.”
When this bill was brought up in committee, support was initially high because of the promotion of equality. Katie Bergmann from the Governor’s Cabinet lobbied for its passage. Representatives pointed out that women who perform the same job should receive the same pay.
Governor Ishmael Cody-Harvell was in strong support of the bill because of the enforcement of equality. He stated an amendment should be added that changes the dollar amount to a percentage to ensure fairness when penalizing businesses.
The opposition shifted more against the bill, however, after Representative Abhi Ramesh and Representative Jacob Dumas stated that the Equal Pay Act of 1963 already covered equal pay for women. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a United States labor law amending the Fair Labor Standards Act, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex. It was signed into law on June 10, 1963, by John F. Kennedy as part of his New Frontier Program.
Representative Ramesh argued the bill was redundant with the Fourteenth Amendment and that no specific punishment for companies was addressed.
An amendment was proposed to make the fines vary for company size, instead of the base $500 proposed by the bill authors. This amendment failed.
After a close vote, the bill did not pass in committee. Governor Ishmael Cody-Harvel said the governor and the cabinet are extremely disheartened.
The governor and the cabinet are extremely disheartened at the failure of GH27,” Cody-Harvel said. “The members of the Ohio YMCA Youth Program pride ourselves as progressive people who strive for complete and total equality. The delegates are encouraged to meditate upon the principles of all things good and fair.”