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C. Eugene Emery Jr.
By C. Eugene Emery Jr. February 12, 2015

It wasn't immediate, but equal pay tip line now active

During her campaign for governor, Gina Raimondo promised to make gender pay discrimination one of her issues.

Raimondo said that "Ensuring paycheck fairness for our state's women will strengthen our families by providing them with much-needed income in a time when many of them are struggling to make ends meet."

"Rhode Island has a law on the books forbidding wage discrimination on account of sex, yet the wage disparity between men and women persists," she wrote. "That's why, as governor, I will immediately take action to promote a culture of paycheck fairness in our state by creating an anonymous tip line, so that women who are earning less for equal work will be able to report their employer's non-compliance, and have access to resources to help them earn the pay they deserve."

(Raimondo cited data reporting that women in Rhode Island earn 81 cents for every dollar paid to men. PolitiFact has ruled that similar statistics are Mostly False because they usually don't compare equal pay for equal work; if you look at 35- to 39-hour-a-week jobs, for example, women earn 13 percent more than men).

On Tuesday, Raimondo announced the establishment of that tip line. We found a notice of the line on the website of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, where it says, "If you have questions or concerns about pay equity, or would like to leave an anonymous tip, call the Tip Line at (401) 462-WAGE (9243)."

In a news release, Raimondo's office noted that the line was not restricted to women who think they are being paid less for equal work. "Wage discrimination based on gender violates the law regardless of whether the victim is a man or a woman," it said. "If a man files a pay disparity complaint, DLT would investigate to find out if the action triggering the complaint was based on gender."

We'll point out that when an elected official says "immediately" -- as Raimondo promised in this case -- we don't expect action to take more than a month.

But the tip line is in place, so we rate this a Promise Kept.

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