Bipartisan Oregon Equal Pay Act passes in State Senate unanimously

Achieving equal pay on the job in Oregon is a step closer Wednesday night.

A Bipartisan Equal Pay Act passed unanimously in the Oregon State Senate.

Senators are hoping this bill will close the pay gap some Oregonians deal with month after month.

“We belive it’s the most comprehensive equal pay bill in the country,” Republican State Senator Tim Knopp said.

State Senators Kathleen Taylor and Tim Knopp say they’re thrilled after the senate unanimously passed the 20-17 Oregon Equal Pay Act Wednesday.

It’s a bill that many are happy about across the state.

“It means that the women in Oregon will finally have the opportunity to be compensated for the work that they do outside the home,” AAUW member Regina Ayars said.

Regina Ayars is a member of the American Association of University Women which strives to advance equity for women and girls.

As a woman who has struggled with pay inequity in her past, she’s passionate about the topic.

“I was told that because I was not married – I was single – that I did not need to make as much as my counterparts because they had to earn a living in order to support their families,” Ayars said.

Now with the Oregon Equal Pay Act, there would be ten protected classes including women, minorities and the disabled.

Companies would also have to evaluate pay plans and determine the reason for any pay disparity.

“Under the bill, they will need to have a bona fide reason for why one employee is making more than another employee if they’re doing the same job,” Democratic State Senator Kathleen Taylor said.

State Senator Knopp thinks this bill will be a solution to a 120-year-old problem and he’s hoping other states will follow.

“Oregon is ground breaking in terms of this landmark legislation and so we are hopeful that it becomes the model for the nation,” State Senator Knopp said.

And although Ayars says the process has been slow, she’s looking forward to seeing the changes this bill could bring.

“I’m hoping that eventually women will be receiving a hundred percent of what their male counterparts are receiving,” Ayars said.

Before the Oregon Equal Pay Act can go into effect, it will need to pass the house, then be signed by the governor.

Skip to content