Report: Men Outearned Women on Wendy Davis' Staff

Image: Report: Men Outearned Women on Wendy Davis' Staff

Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014 12:37 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Democratic Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who is championing a controversial equal-pay-for-women issue in the Lone Star State, paid her male staffers more than her female employees, a review by The Daily Caller has revealed.

Documents show that in 44 out of 58 months between January 2009, when she took office as a state senator, and October 2013, the highest earner in her office was a man, according to the report.

A female staffer earned the highest salary for six months during that period, while for the remaining months a male and female staffer shared the highest-earner position.

The review said that the highest pay for any month during that five-year period was $8,851, which went during mid-2010 to Ware Wendell, Davis’ then-chief of staff. During 2013, Davis’ chief of staff Sonya Grogg was paid $6,250 in October.

The Daily Caller analysis also showed that for 37 of the 58 months, men averaged higher salaries in Davis’ office than women, while female workers had larger salaries than the male employees for the remaining 21 months.

The records also showed that male Davis staffers earned a little over $300,000 more than female staffers during the five-year period, with salaries paid to men reaching $1,143,357, while women were paid $837,481 in aggregate salary.

Davis has been constantly attacking her Republican opponent in the gubernatorial race, Attorney General Greg Abbott, for his opposition to a bill she sponsored to allow women to file equal-pay grievances in state courts. Texas Gov. Rick Perry vetoed the bill last year.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the national pay ratio of women compared to men is 77 cents on the dollar, while in Texas it’s 79 cents per dollar.

Perry slammed Davis’ attacks on Abbott last month, saying that it was "nonsense" to focus on equal pay for women when there were other, more important issues like job creation and cutting business regulations.

The Daily Caller's findings were released on Tuesday's Equal Pay Day, which was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages.

Democrats are hoping to make equal pay an issue during the upcoming midterm elections after polls and focus groups found that it would prove effective for attracting women's votes, as well as men's votes.

As part of Equal Pay Day, President Barack Obama signed two executive orders on Tuesday.

The first prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their salaries, while the other order will instruct the Labor Department to create new regulations that require federal contractors to report salary data, including gender and race breakdowns, to the government.

The president is said to be planning a speech urging Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Senate Democrats are expected to begin debating this week. The bill to expand the scope of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was twice previously rejected by Congress.

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