One of the big national campaign issues in 2016 is gender pay equality. Despite federal and state equal pay laws being on the books since the 1960s, women, on average, still only earn 79% of the salary of their male colleagues. Naturally, the gap is even wider in Oklahoma. Even though women in this state are generally smarter, more reliable, harder working, better educated and more attractive than their male counterparts, they still only earn 73-cents for every dollar a man makes. That puts Oklahoma 44th nationally in the gender pay gap, behind such bottom-of-the-list stalwarts as South Dakota, Arkansas and even Mississippi.
There are lots of reasons men generally earn more than women – sexism, good old boy networks, secret societies, Republican women voting against their self-interests – but one key factor is that it's kind of difficult for female employees to know how much money their penis-clad coworkers earn. Unless you work for the government where all salaries are public, most employers don't allow employees to discuss pay with co-workers. At some places, it can even result in termination or punishment. I know that's the case at KFOR. If you're caught discussing your pay with anyone outside of Linda Cavanaugh, they make you clean the social media bandit cages for a week. Have you ever cleaned crusty banana vomit? It's disgusting.
To help solve this problem, State Reps Emily Virgin and Not Paula Sophia have introduced HB 2929. It would prohibit an employer from firing or discriminating against any woman (or man, we need equal pay, too) for inquiring about or discussing the wages of an employee, for discussing or inquiring about a wage claim, starting any proceedings related to this act, or testifying in such a proceeding.
Somehow, some way, the sane, logical, pro-employee, pro-woman legislation miraculously passed an Oklahoma house committee by a vote of 23 - 3. Yeah, that's right... 23 - 3. Only three Oklahoma lawmakers voted against a bill that would give employees the right to ask about equal pay. Here are the three men (obviously) who voted against the bill:
This is not surprise. If you remember correctly, Dennis Johnson is the guy who openly complained on the house floor about customers who try to "Jew him down" on the price of televisions. Knowing that, I seriously doubt he wants to give female workers the right to try to "Jew him up" on their salary.
Mark made the news in 2012 when he criticized the OETA Movie Club's decisions to air "sultry" movies such as Lolita and Annie Hall. Outside of voting against equal pay for women, complaining against BJ Wexler's sultry movie choices tells you everything you need to know about Mark McCullough.
This Derp is (or was) a board member for the Oklahoma Bankers Association and is (or was) the president of Washita State Bank. He's also served on numerous banking boards. Please keep that in mind when parking next to Todd Russ' car, women who work in the Oklahoma banking industry or for Washita State Bank.
Seriously, of course the Republican banker voted against this bill! I'm pretty sure banks were the ones who invented and pioneered gender pay inequality centuries ago. I bet he even gives male bank tellers bigger, better suckers to give to customers than the female tellers. Hehe, just kidding. I doubt Russ would ever stoop to the level of hiring a male bank teller. That's a woman's job.
Anyway, I think this bill goes to a full vote before the house sometime today. Even though it's smart, common sense legislation, I don't think it has much of chance to pass. It already has three things going against it that Oklahoma lawmakers can't stand.
1. It's pro-woman.
2. It's pro-equality.
3. It was introduced by a pair of Democrats.
As we know, the State GOP seems to hate all three of those things. Despite it easily clearing a committee, the only way I see this becoming law is if the Derplahoman caucus attached some unconstitutional, anti-woman amendments to it. For example, perhaps they'll include something that requires a woman to agree to a lower salary than a man if she wants to get an abortion. With that on the books, expect it to pass unanimously.