Louisiana Families Are Hurt by the Second-Largest Wage Gap in the Nation

Shreveport, LA – On Women’s Equality Day, Shreveport-area supporters of equal pay called for Congressman Bill Cassidy to stop voting against legislation that would address Louisiana’s status as second-worst in the nation for pay equity, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and Paycheck Fairness Act.

“Our state cannot thrive if half our population is struggling when it comes to getting a fair paycheck,” said state Rep. Kenny Cox of Natchitoches. “We must fight for equal pay for equal work. We simply cannot afford to continue down the path of unfair wages and gender discrimination and allow things to get worse, as in they have in the past year. But, unfortunately, because of Congressman Cassidy and others like him, paycheck fairness has not passed into law and is going nowhere in Congress.”

In the Senate, Sen. Landrieu has co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that allows women to fight for equal pay for equal work and co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would prevent wage discrimination.

“We need Senator Landrieu in the Senate to continue fighting for working women and families,” said Debbie Hollis, president of the Shreveport-Bossier chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). “Congressman Cassidy either doesn’t want to fix the problem or he just doesn’t care.”

About 61 percent of Louisiana women are the sole or primary wage earners in their families.  The current wage gap leaves almost $16,000 a year on the table for these Louisianians.

“We are advocating for all women in the workforce to not just be included, but to be treated fairly as well,” said Dr. Eileen Velez, a member of the Caddo Parish Democratic Executive Committee. “When young people first get out of school and join the workforce, men are usually offered more money than women. This is not only unfair, but hurts the chance for women to receive equal pay later on in life.”

An American Association of University Women (AAUW) study showed that the gender pay gaps began early and exist amongst men and women just out of college.


Dr. Eileen Velez, state Rep. Kenny Cox and Debbie Hollis called for equal pay for equal work on Women's Equality Day in Shreveport.

Dr. Eileen Velez, state Rep. Kenny Cox and Debbie Hollis called for equal pay for equal work on Women’s Equality Day in Shreveport.