Louisiana’s working women are at the bottom of America’s wage gap, the Daily Advertiser reports, citing a report from the National Partnership of Women and Families.
Women here earn 69 cents for every dollar men make—an average annual difference of $15,737. That’s far less than the national average of women earning 80 cents to the man’s dollar.
Equal pay advocates released the information as Gov. John Bel Edwards tries—again—to narrow the gap through legislation in the upcoming session. State Sen. J.P. Morrell has filed a bill, SB 136, that would eliminate pay secrecy in the workplace, which Edwards and Morrell say would allow women to know whether they’re being paid equally for the same type of work.
Meanwhile, business advocates like the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry say there are already adequate federal protections in place and that new laws in Louisiana could lead to expensive lawsuits from disgruntled employees. Opponents also argue the data often ignores differences in skills and job types.