• Women still earn less than men. Both in Minnesota and the U.S., women still earn on average only about three-fourths of average earnings for men. This is true despite passage of the federal Equal Pay Act in 1972.
• Minnesota has 2 successful pay equity laws on the books. Minnesota passed unique pay equity laws in 1982 (for state government employees) and 1984 (for local government employees). These laws have worked very well and arestill being enforced today. Results:• About 20,000 women work in state government. Their overall average pay is up to 97% of average pay for men in state government – up from 72% when the law was passed.
• But 89% of Minnesota women work in the private and non-profit sectors, so the state pay equity laws have not helped them.
• The State of Minnesota contracts with over 1,800 private and non-profit firms for billions of dollars each year. To be eligible for state contracts, these companies are already required to submit affirmative action plans to the state Department of Human Rights (DHR). DHR reviews theseplans and certifies approved companies to the Department of Administration.
• The “Pay Equity for Contractors” bill requires companies wishing to contract with the state to submit pay equity plans to the Department of Human Rights, in addition to the affirmative action plans already required, to be eligible as contractors.
• The law would apply to contracts for more than $100,000 and companies with more than 40 employees in Minnesota.
• Private employers can use free job evaluation tools and job analysis software from the Department of Employee relations.
• The bill uses the same standard for pay equity already incorporated in the public employers’ law and rules.
• Human Rights can certify employers making a good faith effort.
• Data submitted by non-public potential contractors will be private.
• The bill increases the certification fee by $75 per contractor, to provide resources for administering the plan reviews.
• This bill puts employers in the driver seat in terms of identifying and addressing pay inequities. It goes beyond the“one woman at a time” approach to addressing pay inequities as is the case today in the private sector.
For more information: --- Patty Tanji, President, Pay Equity Coalition, firstname.lastname@example.org or 651/271-1462.