U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Helps reintroduce Paycheck Fairness Act to close gender wage gap

Contact: press@baldwin.senate.gov, 202-224-6225 

Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and ensure women are paid what they deserve 

Bill introduction comes 10 years after President Obama passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, marking an important step in the fight to end the gender wage gap   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today helped reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), to address the issue of gender-based pay discrimination.

 The reintroduction of this legislation comes 10 years after President Obama passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, marking an important step in the fight to end the gender wage gap. However, more than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, working women still take home only 80 cents for every dollar their male colleagues earn for doing the exact same work.

“There is paycheck inequality for hard working American women across this country and it is time we do something about it. Many women are working full-time, and many are working two jobs to make ends meet, yet far too many are barely getting by, and far too many women and children are living in poverty,” said Senator Baldwin. “The least we can do is level the playing field and give women a fair shot at getting ahead because they deserve equal pay for equal work.” 

“Congress passed the Equal Pay Act more than 50 years ago, but the sad reality is that today women, on average, still only make 80 cents for every dollar men make,” said Senator Murray. “For women of color—the pay gap is even worse. African American women working full-time only make 61 cents for every dollar white men make and Latinas on average are paid 53 cents for every dollar their white male colleagues make. The gender wage gap doesn’t just hurt women—it hurts families, communities, and our economy. So I’m proud to introduce the Paycheck Fairness Act today to make important updates to the Equal Pay Act and reaffirm that every worker in America has the right to receive equal pay for equal work.”

“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,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “This legislation addresses the issue in a comprehensive and sensible manner—and it is long overdue. Our diverse and energetic Congress is poised to act on this legislation, and I look forward to its swift passage in the House of Representatives.”

“Ten years ago, Congress and President Obama achieved an important victory for women seeking to challenge pay discrimination in court with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. But it was never intended for that bill to be passed as the only fix for the ongoing pay disparity between men and women,” said Lilly Ledbetter. “Women across the country still need the tools in the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure they get equal pay for equal work. I applaud Congresswoman DeLauro for her leadership in this fight since 1997, as well as Speaker Pelosi for being a tireless advocate and making this a priority in the new Congress. Now is the time to get this done.” 

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.

Joining Senators Baldwin and Murray are 44 of their Senate colleagues in cosponsoring the legislation. The House legislation has 240 cosponsors (every Democratic Member of the House and one Republican Member).

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