Equal Pay Day


WHEREAS, more than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, nationally women, especially minority women, continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay; and

WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Virginia women working full time year round in 2012 earned on average 79 percent of the earnings of their male counterparts, ranking Virginia 21st among the states in providing pay equity for women; and

WHEREAS, after controlling for factors known to affect earnings, such as occupation, college major, and hours worked, a seven percent pay gap persists between male and female college graduates just one year after graduation; and

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

WHEREAS, nearly four in 10 mothers are primary breadwinners in their households, and nearly two-thirds are 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, in 2009 the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law, which gives back to employees their day in court to challenge a pay gap, and now we must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would amend the Equal Pay Act by closing loopholes and improving the law’s effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, fair pay equity policies can be implemented simply and without undue costs or hardship in both the public and private sectors; and

WHEREAS, we can start by taking measures in the Commonwealth to prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages as a means to determine if there is a gender pay gap; and

WHEREAS, Tuesday, April 8, symbolizes the time in 2014 when the wages paid to American women catch up to the wages paid to men from the previous year;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize Tuesday, April 8, 2014, as EQUAL PAY DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. I urge citizens to recognize the full value of women’s skills and contributions to the labor force and encourage them and the General Assembly to take appropriate actions to address the wage gap between men and women.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the official seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be affixed.