Aileen Rizo discovered an error on her paycheck: she was being paid $12,000 less than her male co-workers doing the exact same job. In fact, she actually had more experience than those co-workers. So she approached her employer about the error, but was told it was no mistake. Her pay was based entirely on her prior salary.
This practice is all too common, and is a big contributor to the gender and race wage gap. Women of color in particular are most hurt by this practice because they are already paid less due to other wage gap factors. So a lower salary at one point becomes the "anchor" by which every future paycheck is measured. Newsflash: You can't close the wage gap when you use the wage gap as a reason to continue paying women less. We've joined Equal Rights Advocates in standing with Aileen and fighting this discriminatory practice. Of course, this fight goes beyond the courts. Legal Voice and our allies will be back before the Washington State legislature this session to advocate for strong equal pay laws in our state.
In each of the past several sessions, Washington legislators have had the opportunity to begin narrowing the wage gap. They made progress earlier this year when they came together to pass the strongest paid family and medical leave law in the country.
We need your help in urging our lawmakers to keep up the momentum, ensuring fair pay and equal employment opportunities can be a reality for all Washingtonians. Are you with us?