Molchany meets with President Obama on jobs, pay equity
State Rep. Erin Molchany meets with Lilly Ledbetter, pioneer of the modern pay equity movement, during an Equal Pay Day event at the White House.
Rep. Erin Molchany, D-Allegheny, met privately with President Barack Obama at the White House last week to discuss pay equity, as well as issues and opportunities in South Pittsburgh.
"I was deeply honored to meet with President Obama and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to discuss ways we can support women and working families in Allegheny County and across Pennsylvania," Rep. Molchany said. "We should leave no stone unturned when it comes to making our communities stronger. From the streets of South Pittsburgh to the Office of the President of the United States, I believe in working together, with anyone willing, to better our quality of life and to fight for fairness for everyone."
The private meeting, which coincides with national Equal Pay Day, took place following the announcement of executive orders concerning federal contractors and pay equity. The Monday following, Ms. Molchany held a news conference with fellow lawmakers and advocates in Harrisburg to urge the General Assembly to act on equal pay legislation, which has been introduced in both chambers.
"Equal pay for equal work isn't just about women. It is about sustaining families and strengthening our middle-class economy," Rep. Molchany said. "With women now earning academic degrees at a higher rate than men, and increasingly become the primary breadwinner in the household, inequity in pay hurts American families and holds our country back."
The two executive orders closely mirror Rep. Molchany's legislation, H.B. 1890, currently awaiting consideration from the House Labor and Industry Committee. Her bill further narrows the definition of determining factors for pay to education, training or experience, while additionally lifting the veil of pay secrecy and creating protections that permit employees to inquire about salaries without fear of termination. Current law allows for "any factor other than sex" to be a legitimate justification for disparities in pay.