Walker Repeals Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Law

The relentless anti-worker, GOP attacks on working families continues in Wisconsin as Republican lawmakers recently repealed the state’s equal pay law. Governor Scott Walker (R) quietly signed the bill last week.

The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act was put in place to prevent wage discrimination against certain groups, particularly women, by giving workers more ways to press charges against an employer.

Women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men make nationally. In Wisconsin, it’s 75 cents, according to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH), which also estimates that families in the state “lose more than $4,000 per year due to unequal pay.”

“We are finally starting to see progress here in Wisconsin, yet like their counterparts across the country, legislative Republicans want to turn back the clock on women’s rights in the workplace,” said state Senator Dave Hansen (D), co-author of the 2009 bill.

In the meantime, a federal judge in Wisconsin has struck down two parts of Gov. Walker’s 2011 anti-worker law which eliminated collective bargaining rights for public workers.

The judge ruled against the provision that eliminated payroll deduction for public-sector workers’ union dues. He also ruled against the section that required unions to win 51 percent support of all employees in units they are certified to represent during annual recertification votes, instead of the majority of employees who voted. Under Walker’s law, all those who did not vote were to be counted as “no” votes.

“This proves that Gov. Walker rammed through his radical and secret agenda without regard to the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law or to what is right and fair for Wisconsin families,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “There is still much to be done to reverse the harm that Gov. Walker has done to nurses, teachers, snowplow drivers and other public workers. The fight to fully restore public employees’ voices on the job and a strong middle class for Wisconsin continues.”

Due to their unjust actions, Gov. Walker, along with his lieutenant governor and four Republican state senators, each face recall elections in June.