Pay gap comment rankles observers

A state lawmaker was overheard saying men work harder, and thus deserve to be paid more, rankling several observers.


State News

April 7, 2022 - 1:48 PM

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Photo by Sherman Smith / Kansas Reflector

TOPEKA — A Hutchinson state representative purportedly declared aloud during a bipartisan Kansas House floor recognition of Women’s History Month that women earned less in the workplace because men worked with more intensity at their jobs, two female legislators said.

The ceremony before the Kansas Legislature adjourned until April 25 involved eight Republican and Democratic women legislators who honored females who broke U.S. professional barriers and who shared their despair at women receiving 82 cents for every $1 earned by men.

Rep. Heather Meyer, a Democrat from Overland Park, said in an interview Wednesday that Rep. Paul Waggoner, a Republican seeking a third term in the House, said aloud a reason for the salary disparity was that men had a stronger work ethic. She heard the remark last week while sitting at her House floor desk next to Rep. Linda Featherston, D-Overland Park. Waggoner’s desk is behind those of Featherston and Meyer.

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