Fighting for Women's Equality

Equal Pay Today! Campaign Heats Up on National Women’s Equality Day

August 26, 2013 | by

The Equal Pay Today! Campaign reached out to hundreds of thousands today in support of strong state and federal measures to close the gender wage gap and announced actions by Governors and states across the country to achieve fair pay for women. The Equal Pay Today! Campaign was launched on June 10, 2013, the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act by national, regional, and state-based women’s rights legal organizations across the country to tackle a persistent gender wage gap in nearly every industry in every state in the nation.  The Campaign sent letters to all fifty governors asking each to commit to work to close the wage gap in his or her state.  The Platform summary and letters to the governors can be found at https://www.equalrights.org/Equal-Pay-Today and https://www.aclu.org/womens-rights/equal-pay-today. Today, on National Women’s Equality Day (celebrating women achieving the right to vote), the Campaign engaged thousands of people from all walks of life across the country in a discussion about pay equity through a Twitter chat on #equalpay. Additionally, using a tool called Thunderclap, 146 supporters simultaneously posted the message “I support #EqualPay for women. Close the gender wage gap today! http://thndr.it/1bXyWXk” on various social media platforms today. The message reached 183,870 people. The Campaign thanks the governors who were able to participate in the tweet chat today, including Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and Montana Governor Steve Bullock.  Their actions to close the gender wage gap, including those highlighted below, make them true leaders in the fight for equal pay for women. The Campaign applauds the strides made to date by individual states to close the gender wage gap:

  • Many states have passed state equal pay laws of some sort.  We thank New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez for her support of New Mexico’s recently passed Equal Pay for Women Act and for developing measures to narrow the gender wage gap in that state.
  • Seven states have passed law expressly prohibiting retaliation against workers (public and/or private employees depending on the state) who discuss their pay.  These include California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, and Vermont.  Thank you for being leaders to combat a major cause of the gender wage gap – pay secrecy.
  • Thank you to Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who recently announced impressive efforts to evaluate and address the gender wage gap in that state.  These include the  launch of  a state commission dedicated for this purpose.  See http://governor.mt.gov/docs/082613_Equal_Pay.pdf.
  • Kudos to Connecticut, Maryland, New Mexico and Vermont – which also established state commissions to evaluate the gender wage gap in those states.
  • Thank you Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who issued a Women’s Equality Day proclamation recognizing the wage gap and women’s contributions to the labor force and who also joined the Equal Pay Today! Twitter chat. See http://www.legalvoice.org/news/documents/EqualityDay.pdf.
  • Thank you Kentucky!  In response to our outreach to the Kentucky Governor’s office, the Kentucky Commission on Women responded with enthusiasm and the Campaign looks forward to working with Kentucky in the months ahead.
  • Thank you Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who joined the Equal Pay Today! Twitter chat today and is committed to do more education and outreach about Illinois’ Equal Pay Act.
  • Thank you to Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, who issued a statement for the Equal Pay Today Twitter chat this afternoon at http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/cwp/view.asp?a=4010&Q=530788.  Governor Malloy created a task force last January to examine Connecticut’s wage gap and make recommendations that will help eliminate gender wage discrimination.  The task force’s first report is expected in October, and will assist in addressing the challenges and barriers to women gaining full economic equality in the workplace.

The Equal Pay Today! Campaign members include: A Better Balance, American Association of University Women, American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project, California Women’s Law Center, Equal Rights Advocates, Gender Justice, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Legal Momentum, Legal Voice, National Center for Law and Economic Justice, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, Southwest Women’s Law Center, Women Employed, Women’s Law Project. To get more updates on the Equal Pay Today! Campaign’s progress, join its mailing list here.  

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