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Pay Equity Bills

The R&P Report on Wage & Benefit Disparities between Men & Women in Wyoming offered multiple solutions to Wyoming's gender wage gap. Possible legislative solutions recommended in the report (page 7):

  • Prohibit employers from requiring applicants to share salary history – asking past salary perpetuates pay gaps 

  • Prohibit retaliation against employees that discuss salary with coworkers (HB0072

  • Raise the minimum wage and raise or eliminate the tipped minimum wage – approximately 2/3 of minimum wage and tipped workers are women 

  • Address pay equity for public employees, require companies with government contracts to address pay equity in some way (HB0084)

  • Require employers to demonstrate that wage differentials are based on factors other than gender 

Thanks to the work of Minority Leader Cathy Connolly, the interim Joint Labor/Health Committee heard and advanced three bills written to begin to close the gap. These bills have now been filed:

HB0071 Equal pay-penalties

  • This bill will increase the penalty--from $200 to $500--for an employer who violates Wyoming's equal pay provisions.

  • This bill has no fiscal or personnel impact.

HB0072 Wage transparency

  • In summary, this bill will prevent an employer from firing an employee who discusses their rate of pay.

  • It has no fiscal or personnel impact.

HB0084 Wage equality-state employees and programs

  • This bill promotes wage equality in state programs including any grants or funds given by the state and requires a biennial evaluation of pay equity. 

  • This bill has no significant fiscal or personnel impact.

HB0071 and HB0072 have been received for introduction. HB0084 has been introduced and referred to Labor/Health.

These bills are a good first step in creating greater economic security for women in Wyoming. The economic security that comes from pay equity not only enables women to support their families and invest in their communities but also provides benefits to Wyoming's economy.

The report states (emphasis mine):

The infusion of $153 million in labor income resulted in an induced effect of an additional 604 jobs, approximately $22.2 million in additional labor income, and over $80 million in output to the Wyoming economy, measured in 2016 dollars.

In terms of increased employment, the real estate (41.2 jobs) and full-service restaurants (36.6 jobs) would see the greatest increase in jobs (see Table 8.2, page 76). In terms of increased labor income, offices of physicians and the wholesale trade sectors were the most affected, at approximately $1.8 million and $1.2 million, respectively.

Additionally, this increase in labor income would increase state and local taxes by more than $5 million.

Note from the study's authors: For this study, the change in employee compensation only affects the induced impacts (i.e. household spending changes) of this economic activity.

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