AAUW of Florida has an urgent request for your advocacy in the pay equity area, and you don’t even have to leave home! We need you to write a physical letter or email from your own address next week if possible. The Florida legislative session is short and committees will stop meeting in a few weeks. We have been advised that mass emails are usually simply deleted, so personal messages are of great importance.
The “ask” of your message will be: “Please schedule House Bill 739 (or recommend it for scheduling) for a hearing in the Business and Professions Subcommittee as soon as possible.” This bill has been filed for the fourth time in the Florida legislature, and it has never been heard in committee. It would have to be favorably reported out of three committees before it could reach the House floor, but the first step is a hearing in the first committee to which it has been assigned.
Please write a personal message to the chair of the committee, Representative Heather Fitzenhagen; the vice chair, Representative Amber Mariano; and the Speaker of the House, José Oliva. If the Speaker says not to schedule the bill, it will not be scheduled. Addresses are below.
House Bill 739 and its companion Senate Bill 90 provide the following protections:
- Employers can’t retaliate against individuals involved in legal proceedings to enforce the law
- Employers can’t retaliate against employees who discuss wages
- Employers can’t reduce another employee’s pay to comply
- Employers can’t request salary history
- Employers can’t provide less favorable career opportunities based on sex
In addition, employer defenses are clarified: they must be job-related and agreement for a lesser wage is not a defense. The law, if passed, would apply to all employees including those covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (which has fewer protections).
- I am requesting a hearing in the Business and Professions Subcommittee for HB 739, Discrimination in Labor and Employment. (this doesn’t have to come first–use your own thoughts, but do include it somewhere).
- Include some of the talking points in the documents listed above (Pay Equity Florida for Legislators, Further fair pay talking points)
- Thank the Chair/Vice Chair/Speaker for their attention and work for the people of Florida.
Thank you for being an advocate for women’s economic security in Florida.
Pat DeWitt, AAUW Florida President-elect and Economic Security Chair