Wisconsin Republicans don’t just have their sights set on union busting and eradicating safe, affordable access to health care for women and the poor. They are also looking to make it easier for corporations to pay women less for comparable work.
The Equal Pay Enforcement Act, passed by the Wisconsin legislature in 2009, made is easier for victims of wage discrimination to press charges by opening up Wisconsin state courts to claims. Usually victims of pay discrimination must bring those claims in federal court, a process that can be more cumbersome and difficult than bringing a claim in state court.
But in November the state Senate approved SB 202, a bill that rolls back this right and last week the Assembly passed their version of the bill. Both versions passed on party-line votes. The bill now moves to Gov. Scott Walker (R) where he is expected to sign it.
Assuming Gov. Walker does sign the bill it will be an enormous step backwards for Wisconsin women who are under economic assault in both the public and private sector thanks to the Walker administration. This bill is, in a nutshell, about stripping women’s access to the court system and protecting employers by making it too difficult to bring a claim.
Sound familiar? It should. It’s the same tactic Republicans in Wisconsin and across the country are using to attack women’s rights in general. They know they can’t repeal anti-discrimination laws outright so, like abortion, they will do all they can to make sure enforcing those rights is as difficult as can be.
Photo from avlxyz via flickr.