March 31, 2020: Equal Pay Day

WHEREAS, more than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women in Michigan, especially minority women, continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay; 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, the the Institute on Women’s Policy Research has found that for every dollar men makes, white women make 79 cents, a black women make 63 cents, and an Hispanic women make 54 cents; and,


WHEREAS white women will not reach economic parity with men until 2059, black women in 2130, and Hispanic women in 2224; 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 equity policies can be implemented simply and without undue costs of hardship in both the public and private sectors; and,


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


WHEREAS, Tuesday, March 31st symbolizes the time in 2020 when the wages paid to American women catch up to the wages paid to men from the previous year;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2020, as Equal Pay Day in Michigan.