SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, is working to bring awareness to the issue of pay inequity between men and women by working to declare April 4 as “Pay Equity Day.” This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn the same as men did the previous year.
“The issue of pay inequity doesn’t just effect women, but it effects almost every single family in Illinois,” Jones said. “Historically, black women especially have faced wage discrimination, which keeps countless families living in poverty.”
Jones is sponsoring House Resolution 124 to declare April 4 as “Pay Equity Day” in Illinois. Pay Equity Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gender gap in wages. The Census Bureau, which tracks annual wages, found women who worked full-time, year-round in 2016 made 79 cents for every dollar men earned across the country. This comparison includes all male and female workers regardless of occupation.
Jones is also sponsoring House Bill 2462, which prohibits employers from paying employees who do the same job and have the same experience a different wage. His measure also makes it illegal for an employer to require potential employees to reveal their past wage or salary during the job application process. Jones’s legislation also prevents employers from seeking the salary of job applicants from previous employers. The goal of his legislation is to address the fact that women and minorities have historically been paid less. Massachusetts recently enacted similar legislation.
“My legislation will help narrow the pay gap between men and women and help put more money in the pockets of women who work hard every day providing for their families,” Jones said. “More must be done to ensure men and women are treated equally, but this bill is a step in the right direction.”