WASHINGTON, D.C. – In recognition of the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined every Democrat in Congress, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, help eliminate the gender wage gap, and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable. The legislation would also end the practice of pay secrecy and strengthen the available remedies for wronged employees.
“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, or even 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. “Now is the time to level the playing field and give women a fair shot at getting ahead because they deserve equal pay for equal work.”
The Paycheck Fairness Act is bipartisan and again designated as H.R. 7 in the House, making it one of the House of Representatives’ top ten bills, and is included among President Biden’s gender equality priorities. The House legislation is cosponsored by every Democratic Member of the House and two Republican Members, and the Senate legislation is cosponsored by every Democratic member of the Senate.
More than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women on average still make only 82 cents, for every dollar earned by men. That gap is even wider for women of color. Compared to white men, African American women are paid 63 cents and Latina women are paid 55 cents. For a woman working full time year-round, the current wage gap represents a loss of more than $400,000 over the course of her career. The wage gap impacts women’s ability to save for retirement and reduces their total Social Security and pension benefits, contributing to more older women living in poverty.
Pay inequity not only affects women – it affects children and families and our economy as a whole. That is because women in this country are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of families with children. Over the past two decades, women make a growing share of the family income in all family types.
The full text of this legislation is available here.