April 2, 2019: Equal Pay Day

WHEREAS, more than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women in Michigan still earn 78 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn for the same work, and women of color earn even less; and,

WHEREAS, in 2009 the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law, a step towards employees’ fight for equal pay, however, the efforts to close the pay gap are not over, and we now must encourage the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would amend the Equal Pay Act by closing loopholes and improving the law’s effectiveness; and,

WHEREAS, according to Graduating to a Pay Gap, a 2012 research report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the gender pay gap is evident one year after college graduation, even after controlling for factors known to affect earnings, such as occupation, hours worked, and college major; and,

WHEREAS, according to one estimate, college-educated women working full time earn more than a half million dollars less than their male counterparts over the course of a lifetime; and,

WHEREAS, nearly four in ten mothers are primary breadwinners in their households, and nearly two-thirds are primary or significant earners, making pay equity critical to families’ economic security; and,

WHEREAS, a lifetime of lower pay means women have less income to save for retirement and less income counted in a Social Security or pension benefit formula; and,

WHEREAS, fair pay strengthens the security of families today and eases future retirement costs while enhancing the American economy; and,

WHEREAS, Tuesday, April 2nd symbolizes the time in 2019 when the wages paid to American women catch up to the wages paid to men from the previous year; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, April 2, 2019, as Equal Pay Day in Michigan.