City, state lawmakers mark 'Equal Pay Day'

City, state lawmakers mark 'Equal Pay Day'

HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Across the country, April 10 is Equal Pay Day, and in Hawaii — several Hawaii mayors have gotten behind the movement that centers around equal pay for equal work.

On Oahu, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a proclamation Tuesday vowing to do a better job to bridge the pay gap in pay between men and women in the work place. In 2016, median yearly earnings in the U.S. for women and men working full time were $41,554 and $51,640, respectively, according to a 2016 report.

In Caldwell's 2014 proclamation, he made a nod to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, saying that since its creation 50 years ago, women continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay.

A 2017 report on the wage gap in Hawaii found that women in Hawaii pay 84 cents to every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual wage gap of $7,640.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho also hosted a proclamation led a proclamation ceremony hosted by the Kauai Committee on the Status of Women.

During the ceremony, Carvalho emphasized the importance of tackling equal pay for equal work as a state issue.

State lawmakers are also considering a bill that could be a step toward improving equity in the work place. The bill would prohibit the enforcement of wage secrecy, as well as retaliation or discrimination against those who inquire about their or their co-worker's wages.

"The bill is meant to promote gender equality in the workplace and help close the pay gap between men and women," said KCSW Chair Patricia Wistinghausen.

"And as the motto goes, we want 'Equal Pay for Equal Work' though we aim for this to be more than just a saying, and to be put into practice throughout Hawaii."

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