Minnesota Republicans have introduced legislation that would repeal the 1984 Local Government Pay Equity Act (LGPEA), which directs local governments to ensure that women are paid the same as men. While local governments say reporting requirements are costly, equal rights groups say the law needs to stay intact in order to ensure fair pay, especially for women of color.
Naturally, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce supports repealing the law because ensuring that women are paid fairly is "outdated" and "an unnecessary and costly mandate."
Just one problem with that: it's not outdated or unnecessary.
Several recent studies have pointed to continued discrepancies in pay for women in Minnesota.
In June, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota found that, overall, women still earn less than men in the state. White women earned 76 cents for every dollar that men earn, and the numbers were much worse for women of color: Native American women earned 69 cents to the dollar, African American women 61 cents and Hispanic women earned 51 cents to the dollar.
Those numbers were for all workers in the state, not just the public sector.
But hey, who cares if women are paid as little as half of their male counterparts? When it's budget crunch time, we all have to make sacrifices, right? So, per the Minnesota Republicans and Chamber of Commerce, suck it up, ladies, and keep taking that hit to your paychecks for the greater good.