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Michigan Democrats introduce bill package to mandate equal pay among genders

April 27, 2015

Michigan Democrats introduced a bill package that, if approved, would mandate equal pay among genders in the state.

State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, recently re-introduced two bills that would remedy the pay inequity gap between women and men and would prohibit wage discrimination based on gender.

“Study after study has proven that women have known for decades — that we are paid less than men for the same work,” Warren said in a statement. “What is most troubling though is that we have seen very little movement to close the gap in the last 10 years.”

If the bill is approved, the employee could request the employer to disclose wage information on similarly situated employees covering a period of three years prior to the request.

The employer would not only have to disclose the wage information to the employee within 30 days of requested but will also have to include the sex and seniority of the employees who are within the same job classification as the employee requesting the information.

The second bill introduced by Warren, Senate Bill 273, if approved, will prohibit an employer to “refuse or fail to provide equal compensation for work of comparable value in terms of the composite skill, responsibility, effort, education or training, and working conditions” based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight or marital status.

Both bills were referred to the committee on government operations.

“(Women) are buying our groceries, paying our mortgages and supporting our families, all on paychecks that are almost a quarter smaller than our male counterparts,” Warren said in a statement. “We simply cannot afford to wait that long — literally or figuratively.”

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women in Michigan earn 77.1 cents for every dollar a man earns — at the current rate, women will not receive equal pay until 2086.

In order to ensure equal pay, state Sen. Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing, introduced a bill that would create the Commission on Pay Equity — the commission would be created in the Department of Civil Rights.

Hertel’s bill was referred to the committee on commerce.

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