Paycheck Fairness Act

Despite the fact that most American women contribute or are solely responsible for the fiscal stability of their households, they only make on average 80 percent of what their male counterparts earn in the workforce. This number significantly drops among minority women. Not only does this impact women’s financial security, but also their families’. The wage gap contributes to families’ inability to save for retirement, invest in their children’s education, and overcome living paycheck to paycheck.

Addressing this inequality, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7/S. 270). These bills would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (P.L. 88-38), strengthening women’s earning power.

H.R. 7 & S. 270

This legislation would:

• Allow women to challenge pay discrimination and ban retaliation against those who discuss their wages;

• Require employers to prove pay disparities exist due to skill level and merit, not because of gender;

• Limit the influence of a potential employee’s current salary on her future salary;

• Establish a program through the Department of Labor (DOL) to train women on negotiating skills;

• Create studies through the DOL and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on pay disparity and discrimination; and,

• Provide tools to the DOL to help women understand and combat wage discrimination.

House Passes, Senate Refers

On March 27, 2019, H.R. 7 passed within the House by a vote of 242 to 187, and the Senate bill S. 270 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. APWU will remain vigilant on this issue, and will update our members as it moves forward. APWU understands the inherent value in securing equal pay for women. Not only will it support individual women, but it will also support communities, the national economy, and future employees in all occupations and industries. 

Resources

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