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California AG office does better on pay equity than Texas AG office

That’s gotta sting.

Female lawyers in the California state prosecutor’s office don’t fall as far behind their male counterparts in pay as do female lawyers in the Texas attorney general’s office, according to a Texas Tribune analysis.

Since March, the question of equal pay has been a key issue in the Texas gubernatorial contest between Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis and Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott. Davis has criticized Abbott for not paying female lawyers in his office as much as men. Abbott has deflected the criticism, saying he believes women should be paid as much as men.

The Tribune gathered payroll information from California and Texas, and compared the differences in median and average pay for male and female lawyers at both prosecutors’ offices. Though each state’s agency has some unique responsibilities, both are charged with representing their respective states in litigation and with serving as legal counsel to state agencies, boards and commissions.

The comparison, which took seven weeks to complete because California did not immediately turn over relevant information, revealed that while there were some discrepancies in compensation for male and female lawyers at both state agencies, Texas female lawyers fell further behind than their California counterparts.

See here for the background. The shame of it all, for Greg Abbott to be bested by California. In the grand scheme of things this isn’t much, just another anecdote in a long story. But still, losing to California. The horror, the horror.

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2 Comments

  1. Ross says:

    There is not enough information in that article to determine whether or not the study is valid. Merely taking job titles and comparing them is meaningless. How many years of experience does each employee have? Which law school did they attend? How high were their grades?

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    If pay equality is the goal, then the metrics for hiring need to be simpler. You’ve got to do away with a pay range for whatever job, and go to, “this job pays X, period.” That cancels out the disparity in people who may have more experience, are more talented, or are better negotiators going into the job. Then, going forward, raises need to be based only on some very quantifiable metric, like time on the job. This would be the way to eliminate “gender gap wage discrimination.” It would also be the way to create a less motivated, do the minimum required, work force. Why bother to be the office superstar? Everybody is the same, everybody gets a ribbon just for participating.

    What the Lillie Ledbetter Act and its Texas equivalent proposal are telling women is that they aren’t good enough, that as frail and delicate women, they need special affirmative action type laws because they can’t compete successfully on their own merits.

    That’s a great message for Texas women. We need to stop telling people they are victims, and instead encourage them to renew their entrepreneurial spirit, you know, the thing that made this country great. Hey, you don’t think you get paid enough? Do what people have done for generations….vote with your feet.

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