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Equal Pay Day – Discrimination Chews on MI Women’s Paychecks

April 22, 2008

Lansing, MI – Equal experience and education should mean the same pay for men and women. That's the goal of "Equal Pay Day" today, but it's something Michigan women can't bank on. They earn about 70 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to Michigan NOW. State Representative Joan Bauer says it's an issue that affects more than just the women being short-changed on their paychecks.

"It impacts working families. It matters to families if wage-earners are not being fairly compensated."

Nationally, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Rep. Bauer says employers should review their employee titles and job descriptions to make sure that men aren't being favored with higher pay for doing the same work women are doing. She says women should speak up if they suspect they're stuck lower on the pay ladder, because pay discrimination starts early on the career path.

"Women, right out of college, a year after they've been on the job, they are already falling behind what a male counterpart makes a year after graduation."

Rep. Bauer has co-sponsored legislation aimed at closing the pay gap, and one bill to establish a commission to look into the issue has passed the House.

Critics of such legislation say there is already a federal "equal pay" law.

For more information on Equal Pay Day, visit www.pay-equity.org.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - MI