Gov. Whitmer Issues Executive Directive Calling for Equal Pay for Women

While the federal government continues in shutdown mode, leaving thousands without a paycheck, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is assuring that not only will women working in government in the Great Lakes State continue to get a paycheck, they can be assured she's insisting they get equal pay to their male counterparts.

Whitmer has issued her 10th Executive Directive since taking office on New Year's Day and says today in the process, "Michigan women earn 78 cents for every dollar men make for doing the same job. It’s time for that to change. ED 2019-10 is aimed at securing equal pay for equal work in state agencies by prohibiting departments from inquiring about a job applicant’s current or previous salaries."

The Governor's action would essentially require state employers to pay their employees the same rate regardless of their gender.

The action was immediately applauded by State Attorney General Dana Nessel, who says, “I am so proud to be working with Governor Whitmer and I am grateful for her swift action on pay equity. Women have been short-changed for years and it’s time we led by example." Nessel adds, "Governor Whitmer’s commitment to making our state the gold standard of equity and equality on all fronts is refreshing. I have directed my HR department to immediately comply with the Governor’s directive. Women in the state of Michigan can look forward to the next four years with confidence, knowing that their state executive officers will not engage in or permit discrimination against them.”

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The newest Executive Directive will prohibit state agencies and departments from asking job applicants about previous or current salaries and from looking up that information online.

Whitmer says, “It’s pretty simple, women deserve equal pay for equal work.”

Equity and Inclusion officers will be required to educate employees about the new executive directive and report any complaints to the state's chief compliance officer, accordingly.

Whitmer argues, "In Michigan, all political power is inherent in its people and state government has been instituted for their equal benefit, security and protection. Given this constitutional charge, the State of Michigan must be a model of equal opportunity."

Mary Engelman, Executive Director of the Michigan Women’s Commission was also pleased today, issuing the following statement on Governor Whitmer’s Executive Directive aimed at securing equal pay for equal work for State of Michigan employees:

“Year after year, elected officials talk about the need to close the pay gap, but in the 35 years since the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, it remains as wide as ever. Governor Whitmer’s Executive Directive will help ensure that, at least in state government, women will be compensated fairly and equitably. Government at its best should lead by example. It is my hope that the Governor’s action will spur other public and private employers to examine their own pay and hiring practices with an eye toward securing equal pay for equal work.”

The 15-member Michigan Women's Commission continuously evaluates complex issues for Michigan women and addresses them. Members have taken an active role in improving the lives of Michiganders and have recommended ways to overcome discrimination, provide support for female veterans, help fight human trafficking/sexual assault, promote equitable leadership and girls in STEM.