Equality, and pay equality specifically, has been an American debate for centuries. In 1963 the people of Vermont passed the Fair Employment Act, outlawing pay discrimination, and yet 40-plus years later women in Vermont were earning just 84 cents per dollar earned by men. Vermont citizens were overwhelmingly in favor of equal pay, and with a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate, Gov. Shumlin signed it into law.
The new law ties up some of the loopholes in Vermontís previous equal pay initiatives. Employers now must have business reasons for paying workers unequal wages. New protections for working mothers have been included.
Surprising to myself, and some residents of Vermont, was the opposition shown by the GOP. Nearly half of the House Republicans voted against equal pay, showing just how out of touch with the desires of Vermont residents they are.
Although this is a victory, and a step forward for Vermont, it is also an ominous reminder of the importance of a strong Democratic presence in Montpelier.
CASEY ANN SHORT
BurlingtonMORE IN Letters
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Acclaimed illusionist & escape artist Harry Houdini, performing in Montreal in 1926, is sucker-punched by a McGill University student. Houdini doesn't know he has peritonitis - the punches are possible factor in his Oct. 31 death.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Police Chief James Baker to resign from the force at the end of the year to take a job in Washington, D.C., jury remains out in teacher killing murder trial, Rec Dept. releases report on what's wrong with White's Pool.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Well diggers in Cardiff, New York, find what is thought to be the petrified body of a 10-foot-tall man, perfectly preserved after thousands of years, which becomes a popular roadside attraction until proven to be a fake.
- Pittsford Haunted House
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1720, 'Calico Jack' Rackham, Caribbean pirate and early feminist, known for recruiting women to his crew and for fabric decorating skills after creating 'Jolly Roger' flag, is captured by the British Royal Navy.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1307, King Phillip the Fair of France orders hundreds of Knights Templar rounded up and arrested, charged with heresy, tortured until they confess; on this day in 1917, thousands see miracle of Our Lady of Fatima.