Slap and local high school students advocate for pay equity

March 8, 2018

State Rep. Derek Slap and local students from William H. Hall and Conrad high schools offer testimony in support of strengthening pay equity legislation.

To help mark International Women’s Day, state Rep. Derek Slap and students from William H. Hall and Conrad high schools advocated for legislation that would close the gender wage gap and ban the salary history question during job interviews.

Slap has spearheaded efforts to strengthen pay equity legislation that has been on the books since 1963.

Slap is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 15 which seeks to:

  • Prohibit employers from asking prospective job applicants about their current wage as evidence shows women disproportionately carry lower salaries from one job to the next.
  • Protect seniority pay differentials from adverse adjustments for time spent on leave due to pregnancy-related conditions or protected parental, family and medical leave.

“Pay equity is not just a woman’s issue, it affects all of us. I tell my two daughters every day that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up. But it breaks my heart that I also have to tell them that chances are they are going to spend their entire careers being underpaid. That has to stop. We are on the precipice of banning the pay history question on job applications and in the hiring process in Connecticut. That matters because the days of women being underpaid are going to end,” said Slap, D-West Hartford. “California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Delaware and New York City have already taken steps to close the gender wage gap. Connecticut must be next. By strengthening our pay equity legislation, we will be able to remain competitive with surrounding states, increase our workforce talent pool and attract new residents.”

In Connecticut, the median annual pay for a woman working a full-time job is $50,706 compared to $60,385 for a man. This means that women in Connecticut are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual wage gap of $10,679. In all five of Connecticut’s congressional districts, the median yearly pay for women who work full time year-round is less than the median yearly pay for men who do.

“The gender wage gap is something that is going to affect me personally in less than six years when I enter the workforce after graduating from college. I am going to be working just as hard as my male counterparts. While I will be giving 100 percent to my job, I will only be getting 82 percent back. I want a future where my little sister doesn’t have to make $400,000 less than her twin brother. I want a future where my employer judges me based on what I can achieve not based on the preconceived notions of what women can achieve,” said Megan Striff-Cave, a junior at William H. Hall High School.

“As a recruiter, I have become numb to the fact that women’s salaries are routinely lower – by $15,000 to $20,000 – than their male colleagues. These women, who have had careers that span decades, have increased their responsibilities, without increasing their compensation fairly. The time is now to strengthen pay equity legislation so that women are not judged for their gender, but for their work performance and ethic,” said Samantha Foster, managing director of ZRG Partners in West Hartford.


Press Release: Slap and local students advocate for pay equity