Miss Utah on Gender and Unequal Pay: Create Education Better

Miss Utah Hits the News

If you’ve been watching the public debacle regarding the most recent Miss USA pageantry, you’ve seen a lot of Miss Utah in the news. Despite the fact that Miss USA contestant Marissa Powell (Utah) didn’t win the coveted Miss USA crown, she created a media frenzy over her fumbled answer during the Q&A portion of the competition. During the competition, Miss Utah was asked: “A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children, women are the primary earners yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?” Miss Utah’s precious response? After spilling out an incoherent thought about America needing to “create education better,” the beauty flashed a defeated smile, aware of the cringe-worthy response that was being aired live, nationwide, and about to explode over social media.

Miss Utah Gives Another Answer

The Today Show gave Powell a second chance the following Tuesday morning, allowing her to redo her answer without the nerves of the competition clouding her thoughts. She said: “It needs to be equal pay for equal work. It’s hard enough already to earn a living, and it shouldn’t be harder just because you’re a woman.”

Let’s Talk About Equal Pay

Powell is right about equal pay, and there is general consensus among scholars that the majority of the disparity between men and women’s pay can be attributed to differences in the choices men and women make regarding their careers. There is disagreement over what amount of the unexplained gap is due to explicit discrimination against women, and how much of it can be attributed to remaining differences between men and women’s choices, and whether the choices that women and men make regarding their careers are themselves a product of discrimination or social pressures.

Virginia’s Mission to End Workplace Discrimination: Virginia Employment Law

The nationwide battle to close the wage gap and end workplace discrimination based on gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc., has a long way to go. Virginia has adopted its owns statutes to both make discrimination a civil offense, and provide certain avenues for individuals to assert their rights and seek remedies for discrimination or wrongful termination. Under the Virginia Code, men and women must earn equal pay for the same work, regardless of sex. If you are a woman earning less than your male coworker, you can lean on the Virginia Code to file a labor complaint.

If you’re looking for an experienced Virginia employment law attorney or Virginia wrongful termination lawyer, contact Keithley Law, PLLC today by calling (703) 454-5147and schedule an initial consultation in our Fairfax law office.

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