LANSING – Senator Rebekah Warren (D – Ann Arbor) today announced the reintroduction of legislation that would strengthen Michigan’s laws against sex-based wage discrimination. At a press conference along with fellow Senate and House Democrats, Senator Warren announced her portion of a package of pay equity bills.

“Study after study has proven what women have known for decades – that we are paid less than men for the same work,” said Sen. Warren. “What is most troubling though is that we have seen very little movement to close the gap in the last 10 years. In fact, at the current rate, it will take 71 years for women in Michigan to achieve pay equity. Meanwhile, we are buying our groceries, paying our mortgages, and supporting our families, all on paychecks that are almost a quarter smaller than our male counterparts. We simply cannot afford to wait that long – literally or figuratively. We must take action today.”

According to a recent report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Michigan currently ranks 36th in the nation for parity in employment and earnings, with working women making just 77.1 cents for every dollar their male counterparts are paid. This nearly 23 percent pay disparity puts Michigan behind the national gender pay gap of 78.3 cents per dollar and harms families throughout our state.

It is estimated that over the course of a working lifetime, the average American woman will lose $530,000 due to the pay gap. At the current rate, women in Michigan are not projected to see pay equity until 2086.

Sen. Warren’s bills would work to remedy pay inequity by prohibiting discrimination for failing to provide equal compensation for comparable work, and requiring employer disclosure of certain wage information upon request. Bills introduced by Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. (D – East Lansing) and Senator Coleman Young II (D – Detroit) would establish a commission on pay equity and modify the provision regarding wage discrimination based on sex, respectively.