Citing a report on the gender wage gap in Illinois, Mike Halpin, a Democratic candidate for state representative, is calling for a new state law requiring companies that have state contracts or investments to receive an equal pay certificate, before tax dollars are allocated.
“Women earn 80 cents for every dollar a man earns in Illinois, and that sort of disparity is not acceptable,” Halpin said. “One thing the Legislature can do is ensure that tax dollars are not being spent on companies that have poor records on equal pay. If I am elected, I will push for a new state law requiring state vendors to earn an equal pay certificate, so that businesses failing to address the wage gap are not rewarded.”
According to a report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, at the current rate, women will not see equal pay in Illinois for another 50 years. While the ratio of women’s earnings to men’s has risen by almost ten percent over the past decade, the median annual earnings for full-time, year-round female workers has decreased.
“It is a shameful and sad statistic that women earn so much less than men for the same work,” Halpin added. “The idea of awarding equal pay certificates to companies that are following the letter of the law, when it comes to equal pay among their male and female employees, is something I will prioritize. I will always advocate for policies that secure economic justice for workers who are doing their part to support their families and better our communities.”
Previous efforts to require an equal pay certificate failed to advance in the Illinois House of Representatives.