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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

Congresswoman Lawrence Introduces Better Pay and Lifetime Earnings for Teenage Girls through Adulthood Act

June 28, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC –  Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) introduced the Better Pay and Lifetime Earnings for Teenage Girls through Adulthood Act, a bill to address pay inequality for young women. Gender pay inequality emerges at the ages of 14 or 15 and persists through full-time adult employment. The impacts of the pay gap lead to a loss of earnings over a woman’s lifetime weakening economic mobility. These effects are even greater for women of color.

 “Women in the United States are paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to a man. A 20-year old woman starting full time work stands to lose $418,800 over a 40-year career compared to her male counterpart. Studies show that the wage gap starts in the teenage years and we need more information to close this gap. Closing the wage gap needs to start from the moment girls enter the workforce. This bill will help us study the origins of this important issue and determine how we can end this ongoing inequality. It is the first step towards addressing pay inequality for young women and especially young women of color.”


This bill requires the Secretary of Labor to study the early pay gap in the teenage labor force. The Secretary will examine the early wage gap’s relation to greater gaps in the overall labor force, conduct comparisons between average earnings of males and females in similar jobs, and estimate the overall lifetime losses for women including women of color. Furthermore, the bill requires the Secretary to provide recommendations to address pay inequality for young women and develop standards of best workplace practices to prevent these early inequities.