Bills put all people first with equal pay, opportunities, transparency

Equal Pay group picture

Lawmakers stand together to introduce the pay equity bill package on the Michigan House of Representatives floor on March 19, 2024.

LANSING, Mich., March 21, 2024 — National Equal Pay Day has come and gone this year, and still, the pay gap remains. As a way to diminish this inequality, to address issues of transparency and continue the fight for equal rights, the bicameral Progressive Women’s Caucus (PWC) introduced a pay equity bill package, House Bills 561827.

“I’m proud to stand in support of equal pay for equal work.  For far too long, the pay scale has been tipped to systematically disadvantage women, particularly women of color” said state Rep. Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn), sponsor of HB 5620. “This is wrong. It’s time for things to change and for us to close the gender pay gap once and for all.”

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that women make up a little over 50% of Michigan’s population, and yet women’s pay is not equal; they also reported that women working full time earn 84 cents to every dollar a man does. LGBTQ+ individuals tend to receive only 90 cents per dollar of a typical worker. As discrimination continues to be easily identified in the statistics, House Dems are working for equity for all people.

“It’s wrong that so many people are being paid less simply because of their gender and other identities,” Byrnes said. “I’m proud to have sponsored a bill in this package aimed at pay transparency. My bill will create penalties if an employer does not post a salary range when posting a job opening.”

This 10-bill package works to diminish the discrepancies between pay by providing equal pay certification, requiring employers to educate employees of their equal pay rights and requiring employers to follow certain protocol such as prohibiting inquiries about previous wage situations, or wage discrimination and would allow for anonymous wage discrimination reporting through the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

This bill package is now in the House Committee on Labor.