NO. R-159. JOINT RESOLUTION commemorating equal pay day.
Offered by: Representatives Barnard of Richmond, Ancel of Calais, Bohi of Hartford, Botzow of Pownal, Brooks of Montpelier, Clarkson of Woodstock, Condon of Colchester, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, DePoy of Rutland City, Emmons of Springfield, Evans of Essex, Fallar of Tinmouth, Fisher of Lincoln, Frank of Underhill, Gervais of Enosburg, Head of S. Burlington, Hosford of Waitsfield, Hunt of Essex, Hutchinson of Randolph, Jerman of Essex, Johnson of South Hero, Kiss of Burlington, Klein of East Montpelier, Komline of Dorset, Kupersmith of S. Burlington, Leriche of Hardwick, Lippert of Hinesburg, Livingston of Manchester, Martin of Wolcott, McLaughlin of Royalton, Miller of Shaftsbury, Miller of Elmore, Minter of Waterbury, Molloy of Arlington, Mook of Bennington, Morley of Barton, Myers of Essex, Nuovo of Middlebury, Orr of Charlotte, Potter of Clarendon, Pugh of S. Burlington, Reese of Pomfret, Rodgers of Glover, Rusten of Halifax, Shand of Weathersfield, Smith of Morristown, Sweaney of Windsor, Tracy of Burlington and Zuckerman of Burlington.
Whereas, over 40 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, women and people of color continue to suffer the consequences of inequitable pay differentials, and
Whereas, a 2003 Congressional report by the General Accounting Office (the investigative arm of Congress) revealed that the wage gap is due, in part, to women traditionally working at jobs that pay less as well as dropping out of the work force for longer periods of time than men, and
Whereas, even after accounting for these adjustments, the report indicates that women still earn a national average of 20.3 percent less than men, and
Whereas, the report quoted experts’ speculation about continued discrimination against female workers and a causal link with an outdated work life structure, and
Whereas, according to an analysis of data in over 300 classifications provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2001, women earn less in every occupational classification for which enough data are available, including those dominated by women, such as cashiers, retail salespeople, registered nurses, and teachers, and
Whereas, workers are retaliated against for sharing wage information, and
Whereas, wage inequities result in a significant reduction in retirement income because both Social Security and traditional pension formulas are calculated based on earnings and the amount paid into the system, and
Whereas, currently, women retirees receive only one‑half the average pension benefits that men receive, and
Whereas, in 2002, the wage gap (or women’s full-time annual earnings as a percentage of men’s) in Vermont was 80.5 percent, and nationally, the wage gap results in a loss of $200 billion in annual income for American families, and
Whereas, lower wages for women can readily force them onto public assistance, especially when they support children, and
Whereas, if women and men were equal partners, Vermont’s economy would show a dramatic rise in family income and a reduction in the poverty rate, and
Whereas, equal pay for equal work is at the heart of economic security for every Vermont woman and her family, and
Whereas, April represents the 16 months it takes for a woman’s wages to equal the wages earned by a man in 12 months, and
Whereas, to promote public awareness of this continuing problem, April 19, 2005 has been designated as Equal Pay Day, and
Whereas, the goal of equal pay for equal work and the battle against wage discrimination must continue to be a priority for us all, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the General Assembly, in commemoration of Equal Pay Day, reaffirms its continuing support that all workers, regardless of gender, should be compensated at equal pay levels for equal work, and be it further
Resolved: That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Commission on Women, to the Vermont Federation of Business and Professional Women, and to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street