SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to bring awareness to and address the issue of pay discrimination between men and women, state Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, is supporting legislation that would mark April 4 as Pay Equity Day in Illinois and bring more fairness to the workplace.
“Women still only earn 79 cents on the dollar compared to their male colleagues, and that is unacceptable,” said Mussman. “The wage gap is even greater for minority women, as African-American women on average earn 63 cents on the dollar, and Latina women make 54 cents on the dollar compared to their male colleagues. Real change needs to occur to raise the wages of female workers in Illinois and across the country.”
Mussman is a sponsor of both House Resolution 124 and House Bill 2462. House Resolution 124 designates April 4 as Pay Equity Day in Illinois, symbolizing the amount of time a woman is required to work each year in order to earn the same amount as her male colleagues. House Bill 2462 prohibits employers from requiring job applicants to reveal their past wage or salary during the application process, and from seeking the salary of job applicants from previous employers. Mussman believes that the implementation of strong equal pay policies sends a clear message to employers and employees across the country that Illinois will not discriminate based on an employee’s gender.
“Equal pay is not happening quickly enough. Women have been waiting decades for justice in this area,” said Mussman. “This way of thinking needs to be left in the past where it belongs, through measures like these that will help put a stop to wage discrimination and improve the lives of women in Illinois.”