Equal Pay Day took place on April 10, 2018, but many are still unclear as to what exactly Equal Pay Day is and why it is important that we take the time to recognize the day each year.
Here’s a scenario to put things into perspective:
Jack worked 40 hours a week for 50 weeks, with two weeks of vacation, last year. Jack has worked for the company, Crown Mill, as an administrative assistant for five years and had very little previous experience that he brought to the job. Jack made $40,000 in 2017.
Jill worked 40 hours a week for 50 weeks, with two weeks of vacation, last year. Jill has worked for the company, Crown Mill, as an administrative assistant for five years and had very little previous experience that she brought to the job. Jill made $29,600 in 2017.
The only difference between Jack and Jill is their gender. So why did Jack get paid so much more than Jill? Because in Indiana, women, on average, make 74% of what their male counterparts make.
On April 10, 2018, Jill finally caught up to Jack and matched his salary from 2017, for the same job.
This is why Equal Pay Day is important. We must make sure that people who work the same or equivalent job are compensated fairly and equally.
State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) has offered an equal pay bill for four consecutive years and that bill hasn’t received a single committee hearing in any of those four years. (Side note: In 2015 Sen. Breaux’s equal pay bill was killed in the Senate on that year’s Equal Pay Day)
In a recent report from the Indiana Institute for Working Families, Indiana received a ‘D’ grade for the economic status of women and an ‘F’ in work & family, where the state ranks 51st overall. These low grades were attributed to the lack of legislative support for policies like paid leave, elder and dependent care, child care, and prekindergarten. All policies that the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus has pushed for every single year. The Senate Democrats are committed to fighting for fair pay, equal rights and women’s rights and will continue to push for common sense legislation on behalf of all Hoosiers.