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Reader's View: Minnesota can lead on equal pay

As a member of the Duluth branch of the American Association of University Women, I'd like to draw readers' attention to Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, April 4. The Equal Pay Day initiative recognizes that a substantial gender pay gap still exists in ...

As a member of the Duluth branch of the American Association of University Women, I'd like to draw readers' attention to Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, April 4. The Equal Pay Day initiative recognizes that a substantial gender pay gap still exists in this country. Why April 4? Well, that's the time it takes symbolically for women's earnings to catch up to the amount men earned in 2016.

An average American woman working full time makes only 80 percent of what white, non-Hispanic men earn. Not surprisingly, that 20 percent gap gets even larger for working mothers and women of color.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is over 50 years old and desperately needs to be updated. Congress should act to remedy pay discrimination, but that seems unlikely under the administration of President Donald Trump. It is up to states and cities to take action and pressure Congress to do the right thing. For example, a new federal law like the Paycheck Fairness Act would help protect everyone from unfair pay practices.

With its legacy of progressivism, Minnesota can be a leader in this effort.

Zabelle Stodola

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Duluth

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