Equal Pay Act 50th Anniversary Proclamation

WHEREAS, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law on June 10, 1963, when women were paid an average of 59 cents for every dollar men were paid; and

WHEREAS, 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women — especially minority women — continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay; and

WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,  women working full time, year round in 2011 were paid an average of 77 percent of the earnings of their male counterparts, indicating little change or progress in pay equity since the passage of the Equal Pay Act; and

WHEREAS, (insert information on the wage gap in your state or congressional district); and

WHEREAS, according to one estimate, college-educated women working full time earn more than a half million dollars less than their male peers do over the course of a lifetime; and

WHEREAS, a lifetime of lower pay means women have less income to save for retirement and less income counted in a Social Security or pension benefit formula; and

WHEREAS, fair pay strengthens the security of families today and eases future retirement costs, while enhancing the American economy; and

WHEREAS, fair pay equity policies can be implemented simply and without undue costs or hardship in both the public and private sectors; and

WHEREAS, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 has never been updated; and

WHEREAS, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 hinders employees’ ability to evaluate whether they are experiencing wage discrimination, lacks provisions preventing employers from retaliating against employees who ask about wages or share their salary information, and makes it too easy for employers to pay different wages to male and female employees performing the same job without providing a legitimate business reason; and

WHEREAS, in 2009 the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law, which gives employees their day in court to challenge a pay gap, and now we must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 377/S. 84), which would amend the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by closing loopholes and improving the law’s effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, Monday, June 10, symbolizes the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, (insert name of mayor/commissioner/etc.), do hereby proclaim Monday, June 10, 2013:

THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE EQUAL PAY ACT

(Insert name of city/county/state) urges the citizens of (insert name of city/county/state) to recognize the full value of women’s skills and significant contributions to the labor force and encourage our federal elected officials to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 377/S. 84) and take further action to help close the wage gap.

Signature                                                                                                      Date

Note* provided by Deborah Swerdlow, AAUW author