EQUAL PAY DAY – celebrating on April 9


equal pay day

The next Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 9, 2013.

This date symbolizes how far into 2013 Women must work to earn what men earned in 2012.

NCPElogoEqual Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.

Since Census statistics showing the latest wage figures will not be available until late August or September, NCPE leadership decided years ago to select a Tuesday in April as Equal Pay Day. (Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.) The date also is selected to avoid avoid religious holidays and other significant events.

Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color.

pay.qxdEqual Pay Day involves thousands of local advocates in programs and activities focused on eradicating wage discrimination against women and people of color. Local Equal Pay Day activists organize rallies, lobby days, speak-outs, letter-writing campaigns, workshops, and meetings with employers, policy-makers, and enforcement agencies to promote effective solutions for closing the wage gap. Red is worn on this day as a symbol of how far women and minorities are “in the red” with their pay.

Whether you are an employer, advocate, legislator, or an individual working woman, you can help close the wage gap by getting involved. One way to get involved is to join NCPE’s annual Equal Pay Day campaign.

Businesses can take the first step towards achieving pay equity by examining their pay practices to determine if they treat all employees equally. Many employers may not realize their pay scales favor white men as a result of historical and conventional biases and inconsistencies.

Pay equity makes good business sense. It promotes a workforce that feels valued, which helps the bottom line. Today, in our competitive economy, fair pay policies will also help attract the best workers.

Employers: Complete a Self-Audit. This 10-step guide helps you analyze your company’s practices.

Equal Pay Day Kit:

At right are the kit elements developed by the members of the Equal Pay Day Committee of the National Committee on Pay Equity. Use them for your own planning and be sure to report back on the form provided.

Start a WAGE Club!

NCPE encourages its members and supporters to form WAGE Clubs throughout the country. A WAGE Club allows women to gather regularly to participate in a series of discussions and strategy sessions to help each other take action to close the wage gap in their workplaces. It is a new grassroots movement to empower women to achieve pay equity!

Legislative Background

Working women want equal pay — and legislators are listening. In Congress and state legislatures, initiatives are underway to beef up equal pay enforcement and strengthen protections against wage discrimination. Examples include:

Equal Pay Action in Congress. . .

1561_A4_Email_Poster.inddThe Paycheck Fairness Act, sponsored by Senator Mikulski and Representative DeLauro, strengthens penalties courts may impose for equal pay violations and prohibits retaliation against workers who inquire about or disclose information about employers’ wage practices.

The bill provides for compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to back pay, for women denied equal pay for equal work; authorizes class action equal pay suits; and directs the U.S. Department of Labor to provide public information about strategies for identifying and eliminating wage discrimination, and to issue guidelines for evaluating jobs.

The Paycheck Fairness Act was passed by the House of Representatives on January 9, 2009, but was defeated on a procedural vote in the Senate on November 17, 2010.

The Fair Pay Act, sponsored by Senator Harkin and Representative Norton, would prohibit wage discrimination based on sex, race and national origin by requiring employers to provide equal pay for work of equal value, whether or not the jobs are the same. The bill would also ban retaliation and require employers to file wage information annually with the EEOC.

. . . and in the States

Many states are expected to introduce equal pay legislation. State legislators from California to Georgia and New York are working in bipartisanship.

The state equal pay bills can generally be grouped into three categories:

  • Bills that prohibit wage discrimination on the basis of sex, race, and national origin (and religion and ancestry in some cases);
  • Bills that enhance current legislation by allowing workers to sue for punitive and compensatory damages; and
  • Bills that establish a commission to study the wage gap and recommend solutions.

NCPE Statement of Principles

True equality for the millions of women and minorities in the work force will not be achieved until there is pay equity.

Achievement of pay equity will benefit millions of households, particularly the growing number headed by women.
The drive for implementation of pay equity must be seen as reversal of a historical pattern of devaluing work done by women and minorities.

While it is crucial that all occupations be open to women and minorities, efforts must continue to find solutions to the problems of workers in female-and-minority-dominated occupations.

Pay equity is an intrinsic part of the goal of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and of the Equal Rights Amendment.
There are no formal dues collected for membership at this time. If you want to become a member of NCPE, you must print and sign this document, which attests that you or the organization you represent adheres to the above Principles.


Either mail it or fax to:

c/o AFT
555 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001-2029
Attn: C. Cordovilla

Fax: 703-979-6372 Attn: M. Leber




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