Bill Text: CA SCR19 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Chaptered

Bill Title: Equal Pay Day.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 65-19-1)

Status: (Passed) 2021-04-30 - Chaptered by Secretary of State. Res. Chapter 22, Statutes of 2021. [SCR19 Detail]

Download: California-2021-SCR19-Chaptered.html

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 19

Relative to Equal Pay Day.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  April 30, 2021. ]


SCR 19, Leyva. Equal Pay Day.
This measure would proclaim Wednesday, March 24, 2021, as Equal Pay Day in recognition of the need to eliminate the gender gap in earnings by women and to promote policies to ensure equal pay for all.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, More than 50 years after the passage of the federal Equal Pay Act, women, especially minority women, continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay; and
WHEREAS, According to the 2018 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California by Mount Saint Mary’s University, the gender wage gap for full-time, year-round workers in California is $0.12, meaning California women only take home 88 percent of men’s earnings or $7,000 a year less than men; and
WHEREAS, According to the American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) report “The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap,” the gender pay gap exists for every age group. It is smallest among women ages 20 to 24, with these women making 90 percent of what men make, but the gap grows with age: women ages 25 to 54 are paid between 78 to 89 percent of what men make, and women ages 55 to 65 are paid 78 percent of what men make; and
WHEREAS, In 2017, median annual earnings in the United States for full-time workers were $41,977 for women, compared to $52,146 for men, a ratio of 80 cents on the dollar; and
WHEREAS, The AAUW report illustrates that the pay gap varies by race, ethnicity, and other demographics, including that Latinas are paid 53 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, that Black women are paid 61 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, and that mothers are paid 71 cents for every dollar paid to fathers; and
WHEREAS, The pay gap contributes to women’s poverty: 13 percent of American women ages 18–64 live below the federal poverty level, compared with 10 percent of men. After age 65, 11 percent of women live in poverty, compared with 8 percent of men; and
WHEREAS, If the gap narrows at the same rate of change since 2001, it will not close until 2106; and
WHEREAS, California women who work full time earn less than men in each of the five broadest occupational categories reported by the United States Census Bureau; and
WHEREAS, According to “Graduating to a Pay Gap,” a 2012 research report by AAUW, the gender pay gap is evident one year after college graduation, even after controlling for factors known to affect earnings, such as occupation, hours worked, and college major; and
WHEREAS, In the United States working women lose out on $500 billion per year because of the persistent gender pay gap; and
WHEREAS, In order to address the persistent problem, both public and private data gathering is needed so that gaps can be better identified and addressed; and
WHEREAS, In 2009, the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law, which gives employees back their day in court to challenge an unlawful pay gap, and now we must pass federal legislation to amend the federal Equal Pay Act to close loopholes and improve that act’s effectiveness; and
WHEREAS, In 2015, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 358, known as the California Fair Pay Act, strengthening the state’s existing Equal Pay Act by eliminating loopholes that prevented effective enforcement of gender-based discrimination and empowering employees to discuss pay without fear of retaliation, providing one more tool to tackle the problem; and
WHEREAS, Almost two-thirds of women in California are employed, and nearly four in 10 mothers are primary breadwinners in their households. Two-thirds of mothers are primary or significant earners, making pay equity critical to families’ economic security; 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 policies can be implemented simply and without undue costs or hardship in both the public and private sectors as evidenced by the work of this state’s Commission on the Status of Women and Girls; and
WHEREAS, Fair pay strengthens the security of families today, reduces the need for the public safety net and provides a more secure retirement while enhancing the American economy; and
WHEREAS, Wednesday, March 24, symbolizes the time in 2021 when the wages paid to American women catch up to the wages paid to men from the previous year; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature proclaims Wednesday, March 24, 2021, as Equal Pay Day in recognition of the need to eliminate the gender gap in earnings by women and to promote policies to ensure equal pay for all; and be it further
Resolved, that the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.