National Equal Pay Day has come and gone this year, but the pay gap remains. To diminish this inequality, to address issues of transparency and continue to demand equal rights, the Progressive Women’s Caucus (PWC) introduced a pay equity bill package, House Bills 440506 and 5618-27.

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 full time working women earn 84 cents to every dollar a man does. For many women of color, the disparity is even starker, with Black women earning 69 cents, Indigenous women earning 59 cents, and Latina women earning 57 cents for every dollar made by their white male counterparts. Additionally, LGBTQ+ individuals tend to receive only 90 cents per dollar of typical workers. 

This 12-bill package would diminish the discrepancies between pay, by providing fair paycheck workplace certification, requiring employers to educate employees of their equal pay rights, and requiring employers to follow certain protocol such as prohibiting inquiries about past compensation or credit history, and would allow for anonymous wage discrimination reporting through the Department of Civil Rights.