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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

U.S. Rep. Lawrence Statement on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

August 3, 2021
Press Release

Detroit, MI - Today, U.S. Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), 2nd Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, issued the following statement on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. According to Census Bureau data, Black women working full-time are paid 63 cents for every dollar paid to White, non-Hispanic men. As a result of this discrepancy, Black Women’s Equal Pay Day—which marks the day that symbolizes how long into 2021 Black women must work to make what men were paid in 2020—does not occur until August 3, 2021. This disparity annually costs Black women $24,110 on average, equaling $964,400 over the course of a 40-year career.

“Black women are carrying out the essential work for our country. However, they get paid 63 cents for every dollar paid to a non-Hispanic white man. This is an economic injustice that has gone on for far too long,” said Rep. Lawrence. “While our country continues to recover from this pandemic, we cannot allow Black women—and other women of color—to be left behind. We’re fighting for equal pay for equal work, because this affects women and families in Michigan and across the country. I strongly urge the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and close these gender and racial wage gaps. As we Build Back Better, we must Build Back Better with Black women front and center.”

On April 15, 2021, Rep. Lawrence voted to pass H.R. 7, The Paycheck Fairness Act, which helps close the gender wage gap by strengthening equal pay protections for women. The bill would create more effective remedies for women who are not being paid equal pay for equal work, including requiring employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons, new tools for the Department of Labor to enforce pay equity and protections against retaliation for workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose wages.