Michigan Governor Issues Executive Directive to Combat ‘Gender Wage Gap’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) issued an executive directive Tuesday aimed at closing the “gender wage-gap” within state government agencies.

Executive Directive 2019-10 prohibits state agencies from inquiring “about a job applicant’s current or previous salaries unless and until the department or agency first makes a conditional offer of employment,” and further forbids searching “public records databases to ascertain an applicant’s current or previous salary.”

According to Whitmer, the practice of obtaining an applicant’s salary history “can inappropriately perpetuate the gender wage gap by enabling prospective employers to offer lower salaries to women than they otherwise would.”

The directive also requires state agencies to “take reasonable measures to avoid inadvertently discovering salary history while gathering other information about an applicant.” If salary information is “unintentionally discovered,” it “must not be used by the department or agency in an employment decision.”

Whitmer tasks the “Equity and Inclusion Officer” for each state office with engaging in “proactive efforts to educate employees of the department or agency about the requirements of this directive.”

“Too often, the women of Michigan have been held back by an economy and a state government that does not fully treat them as equals,” the directive states. “Women still struggle with inequity in Michigan’s economy, earning only 78 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn for the same work. Sometimes this wage gap is framed as purely a women’s issue, but in reality, it’s an economic issue that hurts working families.”

In a video announcing the executive directive, Whitmer said it was “one major step forward,” but claimed Michigan needs to “keep working until every woman in the workforce has the same protections.”

In her first week in office, Whitmer issued 10 executive directives, many of which focus on increasing transparency in Michigan’s government. One focuses on eliminating discrimination in state employment practices, similar to an executive order issued by Gov. Tony Evers (D-WI).

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by G
retchen Whitmer.
Background Photo “Michigan Capital” by Subterranean. CC-BY SA 3.0.

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