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HR-53 (2019-2020)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

House Resolution
No. 53


Introduced by Assembly Members Limón and Carrillo

August 12, 2019


Relative to the United States Women’s National Soccer Team and pay parity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


HR 53, as introduced, Limón.

WHEREAS, The United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNST) is ranked number one in the world and on July 7, 2019, won their fourth Women’s World Cup; and
WHEREAS, The class action lawsuit filed by the USWNST against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), their employer, claims players on the USWNST are not treated as equals to the men’s national soccer team; and
WHEREAS, The Wall Street Journal reported new marketing deals focused around equality for women that suggest “there are signs the U.S. women’s equal-pay fight has spurred more marketing deals for the federation.” One sign is the record sales of the USWNST’s home jersey. Nike chief executive Mark Parker reported the jersey “is now the number one soccer jersey, men’s or women’s, ever sold on Nike.com in one season”; and
WHEREAS, There was a longstanding gap between revenue generated by the men and women, but that has disappeared in recent years. The women’s team contributed close to or more than one-half of the federation’s revenue from games since fiscal year 2016. Overall, from fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2018, the women’s games generated about $900,000 more revenue than the men’s games. In the year following the 2015 Women’s World Cup win, women’s games generated $1.9 million more than the men’s games. In recent years, the men’s revenue tally also includes the fees that opposing teams pay in order to play the United States; and
WHEREAS, Looking only at game revenue, USSF’s own financial statements make clear that the USWNST has held its own in comparison to the men’s team since fiscal year 2016; and
WHEREAS, More than 50 years after the passage of the federal Equal Pay Act, women, especially minority women, continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay; and
WHEREAS, According to data from the United States Census Bureau, the gender wage gap for full-time, year-round workers in California is $0.80 on the dollar, resulting in California women earning approximately $7,000 a year less than men; both African American women and Latinas earn close to what African American men and Latinos earn. However, full-time working women of color earn less than White women and markedly less than White men. The median salary of full-time working White men is $71,164; African American women earn 61 percent and Latinas earn 53 percent of what White men earn. California women who work full time earn less than men in each of the five broadest occupational categories reported by the United States Census Bureau; and
WHEREAS, According to a report by the National Partnership for Women & Families, women in California earned a median of $0.84 for each dollar earned by men as of October 2014; and
WHEREAS, According to “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap,” a report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the gender pay gap is even larger for women of color, where African American women earned 63 percent and Latina women earned 54 percent of what men earned in 2014; and
WHEREAS, According to “Graduating to a Pay Gap,” a 2012 research report by the 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, In 2011, the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that college-educated women working full time earn $650,000 less than their male peers do over the course of a lifetime; and
WHEREAS, In 2009, the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law, which gives back to employees their day in court to challenge an unlawful pay gap, now we must pass federal legislation to amend the federal Equal Pay Act to close loopholes and improve the act’s effectiveness; and
WHEREAS, In 2015, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 358, which enacted the California Fair Pay Act, strengthening the state’s existing Equal Pay Act by eliminating loopholes that prevent effective enforcement of gender-based discrimination and empowering employees to discuss pay without fear of retaliation, providing one more tool to tackle the problem; and
WHEREAS, Almost two-thirds of women in California are employed and nearly four in 10 mothers are primary breadwinners in their households. Two-thirds of mothers 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 or hardship in both the public and private sectors as evidenced by the work of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls; and
WHEREAS, Fair pay strengthens the security of families today and eases future retirement costs while enhancing the American economy; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly proclaims its support for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team’s continued fight towards pay parity, on and off the field; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.