Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence Marks Equal Pay Day, Cosponsors Paycheck Fairness Act
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Lawrence today marked Equal Pay Day and cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable. Lawrence joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) in cosponsoring the legislation in the House of Representatives. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate:
“Pay discrimination of any kind is unfair, unjust, and unacceptable—it simply cannot continue. Equal pay for equal work is a basic request and should not be up for debate. Women and their families have lost too much and suffered too long. Women in America deserve better. Economic inequality hurts not only women, but our communities and our country as a whole—and this is why we need better policies to ensure equality and fairness for all. I strongly support the Paycheck Fairness Act which calls for greater transparency and accountability to help defeat discriminatory practices. It’s time to end the gender wage gap.”
“Equal Pay Day falls 94 days into 2017, which is 94 days too late for millions of American women and their families. Every year, I hope we never have to recognize this day, and though we have made some progress in closing the wage gap, it still exists for far too many,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “Women and men in the same job should have the same pay, and the Paycheck Fairness Act is a strong step forward in ensuring that we close the wage gap once and for all. This legislation addresses the issue in a comprehensive and sensible manner, and it is long overdue. President Trump campaigned on the promise that he would fight for American workers, including women, and I strongly encourage him to support this bill and make equal pay a reality.”
“I’m proud to sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act with Congresswoman DeLauro to make sure every woman working to support her family or herself is being paid the same as her male coworkers for the same work,” said Senator Murray. “At a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet, we should be working together to make sure women are not being left behind. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and I’m proud to join my colleagues to keep up the fight to ensure that all the hardworking women across this country are getting paid what they’ve earned.”
Equal Pay Day symbolizes the date when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. Despite making up half the workforce, more than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, American women still make only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by a man. The gap is even wider for women of color, with African American women making 63 cents on the dollar, and Hispanic women making only 54 cents, on average, compared with white men.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, ending the practice of pay secrecy, easing workers’ ability to individually or jointly challenge pay discrimination, and strengthening the available remedies for wronged employees.