(Host) Lieutenant Governor Douglas Racine signed the "equal pay for equal work" bill into law Thursday. Racine is acting governor this week because Governor Howard Dean is away on vacation in Costa Rica.
The legislation requires employers to give the same salary to a woman that it offers to a man for comparable work. It also allows the attorney general’s office to investigate cases of pay inequity.
Sitting at a conference table in the governor’s ceremonial Statehouse office, Racine said he was very pleased to sign the bill:
(Racine) "Equal pay for equal work is an important step in closing the pay gap between men and women. This law is going to have a positive effect for Vermont’s working women and their families. It will increase women’s purchasing power, raise the funds available for healthcare and childcare, augment their retirement income and help their savings accounts Â– in other words, help with economic security. This is a good law for Vermont."
(Host) Sponsors of the bill say it was important to pass the legislation because Vermont has one of the highest percentages of women in the workforce of any state in the country.
Racine is a candidate for governor in this fall’s election.