Women earn the same as men in just five out
of hundreds of job categories
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Governor's campaign for equal pay awareness
seeks to close the wage gap
[JUNE 17, 2004]
CHICAGO -- New research
highlights why Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign for equal pay
awareness is critically needed to close the wage gap between men and
women. According to a recent report compiled by the Chicago Tribune,
using data pulled from the 2000 Census Bureau statistics, women earn
the equivalent of their male counterparts in just five professions
out of hundreds of job categories.
"In 2004, nearly 40 years after the
federal Equal Pay Act was passed, women still earn far less than
men. I launched our Equal Pay Awareness Campaign in order to send a
strong message to employers that paying women less than men is not
only wrong, but it is against the law," Gov. Blagojevich said.
The governor launched the equal pay
awareness effort on April 25 to address this pervasive problem -- a
problem that not only affects women, but also the children they
support and the communities in which they live.
The Illinois Department of Labor has
seen a surge in the number of calls about the Equal Pay Act and in
the number of equal pay complaints filed since the campaign began.
In the month and a half since the campaign was launched, 203 women
have called the Illinois Department of Labor seeking help, asking
for direction on how to file a complaint. In nearly five months
prior to the launch of the campaign, only 16 women had called
regarding the Equal Pay Act.
"Women are calling the Illinois
Department of Labor in record numbers because the message is being
heard," the governor said. "If a woman does the same work as a man,
then she deserves the same pay as a man."
The governor's office and the Illinois
Department of Labor have developed numerous tools aimed at educating
employers and employees alike about the law.
- 10,000 equal pay posters are
being mailed to the 10,000 largest employers in the state as a
required posting. The poster is also available on the Internet in
downloadable version. [To download the Adobe Acrobat
reader for the PDF file, click here.]
- Equal pay posters are prominently
displayed in all state offices.
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In conjunction with efforts to educate
employees and employers about the Equal Pay Act of 2003, the state
launched a toll-free number, 1 (866) EPA-IDOL. The toll-free line
will provide a forum in which to ask questions about equal pay laws
and to file complaints.
Complaint forms are also available to download from
http://www.state.il.us/agency/idol/. [To download the Adobe Acrobat
reader for the form, click here.]
Equal pay complaints will be
investigated in a timely manner, and the Equal Pay Act protects
women who file complaints from harassment or retaliation.
woman does $100 worth of work, she deserves $100 of pay. Not $70.
Not $80. Not $99. Every woman in Illinois deserves $100 of pay for
$100 worth of work," Gov. Blagojevich said. "The Equal Pay Awareness
Campaign is working. Women are calling. Employers are calling. The
message is out there that pay discrimination will not be tolerated."
[News release from the