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Paycheck Fairness, Workplace Protection Bills Under Consideration
Josh Harder
Josh Harder - photo by Photo Contributed

This week, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) voted to pass two bills that will address wage discrimination and violence in workplaces across the Central Valley and around the nation. The bills, the Paycheck Fairness Act and Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, both have bipartisan support and would bring immediate help to Valley workers.

“These bills will provide immediate help to working families across the Central Valley,” said Rep. Harder. “They will make sure men and women alike get a fair wage for a hard day’s work and know that they’ll be protected while on the job. These bills are bipartisan, common sense, and deserve to be passed into law.”

The first bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, will help close the more than $10,000 per year gap between men and women working the same job. Right now, women working full-time, year-round are paid significantly less than men. Black women currently make 63 cents compared to white non-Hispanic men, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, American Indian and Alaska Native women making 60 cents and Latinas making just 55 cents. This bill will protect workers against retaliation for discussing salaries with colleagues, protect those seeking to address pay disparities through the legal system, and create a new negotiations program for women and girls.

The second bill, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, will help protect health care and social service workers from experiencing violence and mistreatment in the workplace. Recent studies have shown that despite their heroic service to our communities, health care workers experience up to 12 times more violence than an average worker. During the pandemic, 20 percent reported an increase in workplace violence.