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Mission

The Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force was established by Governor Steve Bullock in 2013 to gather information, furnish advice, and provide the Governor recommendations on policies and actions to ensure Montana workers earn equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender. The Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force is comprised of members representing a variety of private and public sectors from throughout Montana.

 

Letter From the Governor

 

Montana became a national leader when the 1919 Legislature passed our state’s equal pay law. Since then, women have increasingly become the primary breadwinners for their families. But here in Montana, women still earn less than their male coworkers.

I believe ALL Montanans deserve equal pay for equal work. That’s why, early into my administration, I created the Equal Pay for Equal Work Montana Task Force to take this challenge head-on.

Since Day One, Montana working families have been my top priority. Equal pay supports our businesses, economy, and most importantly – working families. We need to make sure our economy works for everyone and all Montanans have the same opportunities to prosper.

Equal pay is not just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. Research shows that employees work harder when there’s paycheck transparency and businesses gain a competitive advantage in the hiring market by ensuring pay equity. We also know that good family leave policies reduce costly turnover and improve productivity.

Pay equity is incredibly important to me and my family, and to Montana’s hardworking families. When the Equal Pay for Equal Work Montana Task Force began its work in 2013, Montana women earned 68.4 percent of the median earnings of their male coworkers. Today, that gap has narrowed to 73.2 percent. The task force has taken steps to narrow the gender wage gap through wage negotiation trainings, business outreach, and championing policies that can lead to shrinking the pay gap.

I’m proud of that work and the progress we’ve made, but it’s clear the fight to close the gender pay gap is not over.

Equal pay for equal work is about putting more money in the pockets of Montana families. When female breadwinners are on a level playing field, that money is dispersed throughout the entire Montana economy – creating better jobs and more economic opportunity. Especially in an uncertain economic climate, Montanans can’t afford anything less than a fair wage for a hard day’s work.

 

Sincerely,

Governor Bullocks Signature

STEVE BULLOCK
Governor
 

 

 

Task Force Members


TARA RICE
Director, Montana Department of Commerce
Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force Co-Chair
Helena, MT

BRENDA NORDLUND
Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force Co-Chair
Commissioner, Montana Department of Labor & Industry       
Helena, MT

REPRESENTATIVE LAURIE BISHOP
State Represenative, Montana State Legislature
Livingston, MT

SENATOR DIANE SANDS
State Senator, Montana State Legislature
Missoula, MT

JEN EUELL
Director, Women's Foundation of Montana
Missoula, MT

PADDY FLEMING
Director, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center
Bozeman, MT

CAROLE LANKFORD
Councilmember, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
Ronan, MT

TRACY MCINTYRE
Executive Director, Montana Cooperative Development Center
Great Falls, MT

LAUREN CALDWELL
Political Director & Student Program Coordinator, Montana Federation of Public Employees
Helena, MT

JEN PERRY
Owner, Jelt Belt
Bozeman, MT 

LILLY CORNING
Real Estate Developer, Corning Companies
Billings, MT

JOHN CUMMINGS
Human Resources Director, Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co.
Helena, MT

JAMIE PALAGI
Division Administrator, Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services
Helena, MT 

KELLY WEBSTER 
Chief of Staff, University of Montana
Missoula, MT 

Staff

EMILIE RITTER SAUNDERS
Director of Communications & Public Affairs
Montana Department of Commerce

ASHLY TUBBS
Projects Coordinator 
Montana Department of Commerce

  


 

 

 

STATE OF MONTANA OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 7-2020

EXECUTIVE ORDER CONTINUING THE EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK TASK FORCE

 

WHEREASMontana women are an essential part of Montana’s economy; WHEREAS, women earn 73.2 percent of men’s median earnings in Montana;

WHEREAS, Montana women are grossly underrepresented in high-paying fields traditionally dominated by male workers;

WHEREAS, institutional and cultural barriers have been identified as factors that contribute to the wage gap in Montana and the country as a whole;

WHEREAS, narrowing the wage gap for Montana women will boost their earning potential, strengthen Montana working families and protect them from poverty, and open opportunities for a whole new generation of women in the workforce;

WHEREAS, it is the duty of the Governor of the State of Montana to support and foster economic growth in Montana; and

WHEREAS, it is appropriate and beneficial to continue the Governor’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force (“Task Force”).

NOW, THEREFORE, I, STEVE BULLOCK, Governor of the State of Montana, by the authority vested in me under the Constitution and the laws of the State of Montana, do hereby continue the Governor’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force.

PURPOSE

The purpose of the Task Force is to promote resources, educate and support Montana businesses as they work to address Montana’s pay gap. The Task Force will gather information, furnish advice, and provide the Governor recommendations on policies and actions to ensure that Montana workers earn equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, so that Montana becomes an equal pay leader state that sets national standards for public-private policy partnerships on closing the wage gap.

DUTIES

  1. Review and disseminate solutions to the magnitude, causes, and consequences of the wage gap in Montana by age, sector, education level, and location.
  2. Promote education and training opportunities for businesses and women to:
    1. address any real pay gaps by committing to audits and incremental improvementsto end pay disparity;
    2. incorporate best practices for workforce retention through inclusive programs;
    3. provide support to women and families to fully participate in the workforce inmeaningful and practical ways; and
    4. receive training, professional development, and promotional opportunities.
  3. Research, inquire, study, and provide the State of Montana with strategic solutions to address the intersecting concerns of the wage gap with imminent workforce shortages, and support businesses that support women and families in their pursuits of supportive work environments, flexible schedules, family leave, entrepreneurial opportunities, and any other means to equal pay.

COMPOSITION AND ORGANIZATION

  1. The Task Force members shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
  2. The Governor shall appoint the Director of the Department of Commerce and the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to co-chair this Task Force.
  3. The Task Force shall be comprised of 8-15 members, representing broad geographic areas.
  4. The Task Force members may be appointed from the following categories:
    1. business;
    2. non-profit;
    3. labor/workers;
    4. higher education;
    5. state agency directors or their designees;
    6. economic development;
    7. tribal officials; and
    8. elected officials.
  5. The Task Force may establish procedural bylaws to aid it in the performance of its duties.
  6. The Task Force may establish subcommittees comprised of members of the Committee to aid it in the performance of its duties.
  7. The Task Force is attached to the Department of Commerce for administrative purposes. The Director of the Department of Commerce shall enlist staff to aid the Task Force
  8. The Task Force may request consultation, information, and technical expertise from Directors or their designees of state agencies, including but not limited to, the members of the Montana legislature, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Administration, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, the Office of Public Instruction, and the Board of Public Education, regarding equal opportunity policies and initiatives, educational opportunities to promote women in the workforce, institutional barriers to equal pay for equal work, and other relevant issues.
  9. The Task Force may request comments, information, and technical expertise from such other sources as it deems necessary, including universities, federal agencies, and members of the public.

COMPENSATION

Council members shall be eligible for compensation under section 2-15-122(5) MCA, and shall be compensated in an amount to be determined by the Director of the Department of Commerce, but only for each day in which the member is actually and necessarily engaged in the performance of Task Force duties. All Task Force members shall be reimbursed for travel expenses pursuant to section 2-15-122(5), MCA.

DURATION

This Order is effective retroactively to April 10, 2020, and the Task Force shall expire or be renewed by April 1, 2022.

Executive Order PDF

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EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK TASK FORCE | MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
301 S. PARK AVE. | PO BOX 200501 | HELENA, MT 59620-0501 

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