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Sunday, July 14, 2024

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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Advocates to flood social media to promote Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

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Tuesday, July 9, 2024   

Today is Black Women's Equal Pay Day and at 11 a.m. PT, advocates hope to get the topic trending with a "social media storm."

The wage gap is stark. Black women working full-time, year-round make 69 cents for every dollar made by non-Hispanic white men. And the number is 66 cents when you include all full-time, part-time and part-year workers.

Deborah Vagins, national campaign director for the nonprofit civil-rights group Equal Rights Advocates and director of its Equal Pay Today coalition, explained the day is intended to spark debate.

"Black women have to work all the way into July of this year to make what white non-Hispanic men would have made in 2023 alone," Vagins pointed out. "It's an acknowledgment of that pay gap."

Advocates are pressing Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would protect all workers against retaliation for discussing their pay. It would also ban the use of prior salary history when setting wages and require the federal government to collect pay data from employers, making it easier to root out disparities.

Vagins noted the fight for equal pay for equal work is more complex than the battle against racial and gender discrimination.

"It's also the lack of pay transparency in the workplace," Vagins emphasized. "It is setting salaries based on your prior salary history rather than on your qualifications for the job. It's jobs failing to have protections against harassment or pregnancy discrimination."

Vagins also cited the segregation of Black women into poverty-level minimum-wage work, particularly tipped jobs in the restaurant industry using a subminimum wage.


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