Due to the large number of messages I've received today, I apologize if you were unable to leave a message on my voicemail. I've been answering your posts, calls, and emails all day. My response is below.
If you want to talk further, give me a call at the Capitol 405-557-7403 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I support equal pay. As you are aware, federal and Oklahoma state laws prohibit pay discrimination based on gender.
During the committee process, I proposed an amendment to the author that would have strengthened Oklahoma’s anti-discrimination laws. Unfortunately, the author was not interested in working with me to find a compromised solution that would be best for Oklahoma.
The way to strengthen Oklahoma’s anti-discrimination laws is to make them more punitive by increasing the fines. If we want to truly effect change in this area, let’s do it in a way that punishes the bad players in the marketplace but doesn’t mandate all businesses. I’m disappointed the author would not work to compromise with the committee Chairwoman to find a solution that’s best for Oklahoma.
Very few businesses have written policies that prohibit employees from discussing pay, and those that do are in violation of federal law. Several businesses have expressed concern that this measure as written is overly broad and would have unintended consequences that could affect their ability to recruit and retain talented workers and protect workplace morale.
Additionally, because of the new administration in Washington DC, there will be modernizations made to federal employment law. Oklahoma has consistently mirrored our state laws in regards to employment law to the federal government. Those surrounding the Trump administration have supported concepts of paid family leave and equal pay. The federal government is the best place for changes to employment law - to ensure consistence in laws throughout the nation.
The deadline for bills to be heard in the House Business, Commerce, & Tourism was Monday 2/27 at 10:30am. This issue will be eligible to be considered during the 2018 session.