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(J.R.H. 79)

Offered by: Representatives Doyle of Richmond, Alfano of Calais, Barbieri of Wallingford, Carmolli of Rutland City, Cross of Winooski, Deen of Westminster, Dominick of Starksboro, Dunne of Hartland, Emmons of Springfield, Fox of Essex, Heath of Westford, Howrigan of Fairfield, Hummel of Underhill, Jordan of Middlesex, Keenan of St. Albans City, Kehler of Pomfret, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Krasnow of Charlotte, Kreitzer of Rutland City, Lafayette of Burlington, Lippert of Hinesburg, Livingston of Manchester, Marron of Stowe, Mazzariello of Rutland City, Milkey of Brattleboro, Miller of Shaftsbury, Milne of Washington, Moore of Rutland City, Nitka of Ludlow, Nuovo of Middlebury, Osman of Plainfield, Paquin of Fairfax, Parizo of Essex, Partridge of Windham, Poirier of Barre City, Postman of Brownington, Pugh of South Burlington, Rivero of Milton, Rusten of Halifax, Seibert of Norwich, Smith of Sudbury, Steele of Waterbury, Sullivan of Burlington, Sweaney of Windsor, Symington of Jericho, Tracy of Burlington, Vincent of Waterbury, Vinton of Colchester, Voyer of Morristown, Wheeler of Burlington and Woodward of Johnson.

Whereas, at the end of the 20th century, the annual compensation for women in the United States equals only 74 percent of the wages paid to their male counterparts, and

Whereas, the stated objective of the Equal Pay Act that Congress adopted in 1963 was to prohibit unequal pay for equal or substantially equal work performed by men and women, and

Whereas, Congress unequivocally reaffirmed the federal prohibition on gender discrimination in compensating employees when it enacted Title VII as part of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964, and

Whereas, despite these significant legislative efforts to abolish the vestiges of gender-based wage discrimination, it remains a reality in the labor market, both in Vermont and nationally, and

Whereas, while the median 1997 annual wage for a full-time employed male was $33,674.00, the female equivalent totaled only 74.1 percent of that amount, or $24,973.00, and

Whereas, if this unacceptable gender-based disparity in compensation continues, the average 25 year-old female will earn $523,000.00 less than the average 25 year-old male over the next 40 years, and

Whereas, this wage differential means that not until April 8, 1999 will female workers have earned, for the period commencing on January 1, 1998, compensation equivalent to their male colleagues' calendar year 1998 wages, and

Whereas, in recognition of the significance of this date, and as a reminder that statutory requirements requiring equal pay for equal work remain far from fully effective, April 8, 1999 is being observed across the country as Equal Pay Day, and

Whereas, Equal Pay Day must serve as the impetus for finally closing the unjustified gender gap in compensating women at the same levels as men for equal work, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly recognizes the continuing problems that women encounter in their determined efforts to achieve equal pay for equal work and urges that April 8, 1999, which the governor has designated as Equal Pay Day in Vermont, serve as a reminder to all Vermonters that this fundamental economic goal has yet to be achieved.