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SCR-37 Equal Pay Day.(2017-2018)

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Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 37

Relative to Equal Pay Day.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  May 10, 2017. ]


SCR 37, Jackson. Equal Pay Day.
This measure would proclaim Tuesday, April 4, 2017, as Equal Pay Day in recognition of the need to eliminate the gender gap in earnings by women and to promote policies to ensure equal pay for all.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

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 the 2017 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California by Mount Saint Mary’s University, the gender wage gap for full-time, year-round workers in California is $0.86 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 63 percent and Latinas earn 43 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, As reported by the United States Census Bureau, women working full time, year round in 2013, typically earned 78 percent of what men earned, indicating little change or progress in pay equity; 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; and
WHEREAS, Tuesday, April 4, symbolizes the time in 2017 when the wages paid to American women catch up to the wages paid to men from the previous year; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature proclaims Tuesday, April 4, 2017, as Equal Pay Day in recognition of the need to eliminate the gender gap in earnings by women and to promote policies to ensure equal pay for all; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.