Division of Labor and Industry


Commission - Report of the Equal Pay Commission


III) Commission
  A) Commission Membership. The Governor appointed the following members (See Appendix A) for the noted positions:
1) Business Representatives: Phyllis M. Burlage, Chairperson, and Ellen H. Levi 
2) Labor Representatives: Evelyn McCarter and Vincent Canales 
3) Organizational Representatives: Glendora Hughes, Esq. and L. Tracy Brown, Esq.
4) Higher Education Representatives: George Georgiou, Ph.D.; George LaNoue, Ph.D.; and Gena Proulx, Ph.D.
B) Commission Meeting Schedule. The Commission held its first meeting on 
December 8, 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland and agreed to meet monthly on the third Wednesday of the month. Meeting dates were: January 18, February 15, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 23, and September 20, 2006.

C) Commission Charge. The Commission was charged with studying:
1) "The extent of wage disparities, both in the public and private sectors, between men and women and between minorities and nonminorities;

2) Those factors which cause, or which tend to cause, the disparities, including segregation between women and men and between minorities and nonminorities across and within occupations, payment of lower wages for work in female-dominated occupations, child-rearing responsibilities, the number of women who are heads of households, education, hours worked, and years on the job;

3) The consequences of the disparities on the economy and families affected; and

4) Actions that are likely to lead to the elimination and prevention of the disparities."
D) Commission Process. The Commission relied on a number of different techniques to obtain information for this report. As a starting point, a comprehensive literature search was conducted. Two papers looking at the national picture, which summarized the data on gender-based and race-based wage disparities, were prepared by Commission Staff. The papers are appended to this report (Appendix B and C) and information from them is used in the report. Although national data and literature searches provided an interesting perspective, the Commission agreed that it was critical to have Maryland-specific data on which to base its report and recommendations.

The Commission was fortunate to receive an offer of assistance from the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR). On behalf of the Commission, IWPR conducted a study using the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Files (ACS PUMS), which captures employment-related information both for the previous year and for the week before the survey fielding date and a complete battery of demographic information. Three years of data, from 2002 to 2004, were pooled to get a large enough sample for the analysis. The IWPR study is appended to this report (Appendix D) and data from it are used in the report. It should be noted that in this report when wages are discussed, hourly wages are generally the focus; when earnings are discussed, the focus is on annual earnings.

In addition, the Commission looked at Equal Pay and Maryland Human Relations Commission Complaints. Reports prepared by the Maryland Human Relations Commission Counsel's Office are attached (Appendix E and F) and excerpted in this report.

In its review of Maryland data, the Commission believes that there is a great need to gather relevant data from public and private employers to capture an accurate picture of if and why diverse groups of Maryland employees are not being paid equally. The Commission also found a severe lack of data specifically applicable to Maryland employers and employees as it relates to the Equal Pay Act. If Maryland wants State-based statistics to compare itself nationally, it needs to create a data base and institute a better data collection methodology for obtaining this information. Attempts to obtain Maryland-specific wage disparity data from federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor (DOL) did not yield the type of information needed.

Commission staff conducted research into Pay Equity Best Practices on an international, national and local level and looked at data on the economic impact of the wage gap. In addition, a number of interest and advocacy groups were contacted and provided the opportunity to provide input to the Commission. The materials submitted were considered by Commission members in formulation of the report. A list of the organizations from which materials were reviewed is Appendix G. At its last three meetings, the Commission considered and discussed possible recommendations and report content.
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