Onoraoto Urges Equal Pay for Female, Minority Allegheny County Workers

Article excerpt

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato on Monday proposed a law requiring the county to periodically study government job classifications and gaps in pay based on gender and race.

Onorato said he wants the first study to begin next year and for the county to conduct reviews every five years.

The county has 6,836 full-time employees, including 3,575 women and 1,269 minorities.

"We don't know there's a disparity in county government with women and race," Onorato said. "We know there are disparities in job classifications. I can't tell you why."

Women in Pennsylvania are paid 74 percent of what men make, even though women make up 51 percent of full-time workers in the state, according to a report by the nonprofit Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg.

Women nationwide make 81 cents for every dollar a man makes and less than 70 cents in the Pittsburgh area, said Heather Arnet, executive director of the Women and Girls Foundation.

"We want to make sure Allegheny County is a place where women can live, work and thrive," Arnet said in endorsing Onorato's proposal.

State law prohibits using race or gender as factors in determining how much someone is paid. …