1.17.18

Suggested lead: The state House took a giant step toward ensuring pay equity for women in Washington workplaces Wednesday.  Dan Frizzell has more.

Wrap (:63 total): Democrats and a few Republican colleagues hope the fourth time will be a charm for equal pay for women in the state.  That’s how many times the House has OK’d Representative Tana Senn’s equal pay act, only to see it killed by a Republican-led Senate. Wednesday the House said yes once again, and with Democrats now in charge of the Senate, the bill’s future seems assured. 

SENN: “It really has been an amazing journey, amazing process, working with business, and women’s groups, and labor groups to focus on equality, clarity, and accessibility.  We really made sure that we kept in mind not just high-wage workers but low-wage workers, and not just big business but small business as well.  So I’m really proud of this bill. [:18]

Washington has had equal pay on the books for years, but company policies that barred employees from talking about their salaries have effectively kept many women in the dark.  Senn, a Democrat from Mercer Island, wrote a bill that prohibits those policies and also prevents employers from retaliating against workers who lobby for pay equity when they learn that they make, on average, just 79 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues.  In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.