Porter advocates for pay equity, increasing the minimum wage and establishing an earned family and medical leave systemMarch 8, 2018
Calling for smart, progressive policies that will help create economic security for women and families statewide, Democrats in the General Assembly joined advocates on International Women’s Day to push for Connecticut to adopt legislation that would create an earned family and medical leave system, ensure women receive equal pay for equal work, and increase the minimum wage.
Thursday’s press conference comes after the state Senate and state House of Representatives released their Democratic Values Agenda during the beginning of the 2018 legislation session. House and Senate Democrats seek to pass legislation aimed at supporting the middle class and creating economic opportunities for everyone; opening access to education; protecting women’s health care; keeping Connecticut residents healthy; supporting Connecticut’s hospitals; and preserving the state’s democracy. A major pillar of the agenda is economic security for women and families.
“Connecticut’s ability to thrive is dependent upon the state of our working families and the state of our economy. By addressing the economic disparities present in our state and creating equitable opportunities for everyone, we can invest in the success of our families and our businesses. This starts with workers making a living wage, establishing an earned family and medical leave system and ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work. These core values are what weave the fabric of our state together because it’s not just about economic issues, it’s about moral issues. It’s about dignity and respect. No full-time worker should ever have to depend on public assistance.” said state Rep. Robyn Porter, (D-New Haven), co-chairwoman of the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee.
Thursday’s press conference came before the Labor and Public Employees Committee’s public hearing on pay equity, increasing the minimum wage and adopting an earned family and medical leave system.
Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 5387 each propose to establish a system that provides critically needed earned family and medical leave benefits to individuals employed in Connecticut. Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 5387 provide for up to 12 weeks of paid leave to qualifying employees, at 100 percent of salary up to a cap of $1,000 per week.
To help close the gender wage gap in Connecticut, lawmakers have introduced Senate Bill 15 and House Bill 5386. While there have been efforts in the past to combat this issue, here in Connecticut women are still earning 83 cents to every dollar that their male counterparts are. This results in an annual wage gap of nearly $11,000. The gender pay gap only increases in the case of Latino and African American women, the former earning 54 cents on the dollar and the latter 63 cents on the dollar compared to their white male counterparts.
House Bill 5388, “An Act Concerning a Fair Minimum Wage,” seeks to gradually increase the minimum wage in Connecticut from its current $10.10 in 2018 to $15 per hour, over the course of the next three years. Thereafter the wage would be indexed to rise at the rate of inflation.