MADISON, Wis. — At a public forum this week, State Senate candidate John Macco supported the repeal of Wisconsin ‘s equal pay law. Despite reports that full-time working women lose over $9 million annually in Wisconsin as a result of a gender pay gap and a new, national study finding women were paid only 82% of their male colleagues salary in their first year after college graduation, Macco said the state law was “redundant and repetitive” and “extremely confusing”.
One Wisconsin Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “It’s pretty simple, there’s a real and significant pay gap between men and women. So you have to wonder why John Macco doesn’t believe there’s a need to do something about it in Wisconsin. Is it because he doesn’t understand it, or is because he’s so out-of-touch and extreme that he doesn’t care?”
According to the study conducted by the American Association of University Women, on average, women were paid 82% of men’s wages in the first year after their graduation from college. Among various professions like engineering, computer and social sciences women were paid between 12% and 23% less than their male colleagues. Researchers also controlled for differences in career choices made by men and women, and still found that a significant wage gap exists.
Under the Wisconsin equal pay law women, seniors and veterans could sue to stop workplace wage discrimination and recover back wages in their local circuit court, instead of being forced to go to federal court. The law was repealed by the Republican controlled legislature in 2012. The state’s big business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, and other corporate special interests lobbied in favor of repeal.
Ross concluded, “Whether it’s that he doesn’t understand or he’s so out of touch and extreme he prefers corporate special interests to the economic well-being of women and their families, John Macco’s opposition to an equal pay law in Wisconsin simply doesn’t add up.”