Democrats have revived the “Equal Pay Act” in the Ohio House. The bill, which was introduced on National Equal Pay Day, would require companies who do business with Ohio to pay women and men equally.
State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) says the upshot of the bill is simple.
“You should be paid the same amount for the same work. It is just that simple," Howse says.
Howse says backers of the plan will be making the case to majority Republicans that paying women and men equally will help Ohio’s bottom line. This is the fifth time Democrats have tried to pass the “Equal Pay Act.”
According to a press release from Ohio Democrats, the average woman in Ohio is paid 78 cents to every dollar a man makes. Black women are only paid 61 cents and Latina women 53 cents to every dollar paid to a white man.
The bill, co-sponsored by state Reps. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus), would also outlaw gag orders that prevent employees from talking to each other about salaries.
The same lawmakers are also sponsoring related bills that would give parents paid time off for maternity or paternity care as well as paid sick days.