Greg Abbott Pays Female Employees in Attorney General's Office Less Than Male Coworkers

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It's no wonder Greg Abbott hasn't stated if he would sign Equal Pay legislation for Texas women — a blockbuster report in the San Antonio Express News today made clear that Abbott pays the women in his office less than the men, even when accounting for experience and longevity.

The average salary for the 343 male assistant attorneys general in Abbott's office is $79,464, while the average salary for the 379 women is $73,649.

As Attorney General, Abbott also defended the right of an employer to wage discriminate based on sex. And while Wendy Davis has made clear that she would sign a Texas version of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — heck, she sponsored and moved it through the State Senate on a 16-15 vote last session — Abbott's surrogates have been quick to point out that women are “too busy” for Equal Pay and just need to “negotiate better.”

Update 11:48 a.m. Greg Abbott has finally stated that he would NOT sign an Equal Pay law for Texans.

From the San Antonio Express News:

    Abbott's office said the difference is explained by the amount of time that the men have been licensed as lawyers and have served at the agency.

    But drilling down into different classifications of assistant attorney general, the figures provided by Abbott's office show there isn't always a direct correlation between such experience and pay.

    And of the top 20 highest-paid employees at the agency, just three are women, February salary figures provided to the San Antonio Express-News show. Of the 100 top positions, 37 are held by women.

When talking about equal pay, often it becomes necessary to simply make clear that yes, women are paid less for the same day's work, even when employees have the same level of experience.

In Abbott's office, women with as much or more experience are still being paid less than men who hold the exact same position, according to the article (emphasis mine):

    Of seven different classifications of assistant attorneys general, the average salary for men is higher than the average salary for women in six of them, with the difference ranging from $647 to $4,452. In one category, the average salary for women is $3,512 higher than that for men.

    In three categories, the women on average either had more years of service or had been licensed longer, or both, despite being paid less, according to figures from the attorney general's office. In the latter case, the attorney general's office noted the salaries were almost identical – the men's average salary was $122,528, while the women made $647 less while having more experience.

The women have more years of service or have been licensed longer, and yet they are paid less. This data directly contradicts the statement Abbott's office gave the press, claiming that the difference is explained by the amount of time that the men have been licensed as lawyers and have served at the agency.

Greg Abbott defends the right of employees to discriminate wages based on sex, and he actively practices that same discrimination in his office. The women of Texas literally cannot afford for him to be our next Governor.

Update 11:48 a.m. Greg Abbott has finally clarified his stance on Equal Pay, telling the Associated Press that nope, he doesn't think women should be able to sue if they're paid less because they're women. From the DMN:

    Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott would not sign a measure to make it easier for women to bring pay discrimination lawsuits in state court if he were governor, a spokesman said Wednesday, hoping to get past an issue that has dogged the campaign for weeks.

Umm, I'm not sure this is going to make this issue “go away” but Ok…  


About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

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