HELENA, MT – Governor Bullock today released the following statement in recognition of the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:
“As a father, husband, and son of hardworking and intelligent women and girls, I know that all women deserve equal pay for equal work. It is imperative that young Montanans – the workforce of tomorrow – join Montana’s economy knowing that they will be treated equally in the workplace, regardless of their gender.
We want our daughters and sons to stay in Montana and raise their own children here because they believe Montana is a place they can prosper and be valued for their contributions to our state’s economy. Montana is taking a leadership role in closing the gender pay gap once and for all, but as long as it persists, there is still much work to be done.”
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 is a federal statute in the United States that amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and states that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action.
In 2013, Governor Bullock established the Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force to identify the causes of and develop solutions to the gender pay gap in Montana. Since it was established, the Task Force has hosted two summits to discuss pay equity. In addition, they’ve helped to institute wage negotiation training in Job Service offices across the state, proposed legislation, spearheaded efforts to provide mentors for girls interested in pursuing a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, and led the first ever pay audit of state government employees to ensure pay equity in this sector.
A recent study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that unless the disparity is more comprehensively addressed, Montana’s gender pay gap will not close until 2080.