11 Sep STATEMENT: Senate Succeeds in Pushing Paycheck Fairness Act to Full Debate
Sept. 11, 2014
Contact: Linda Meric, National Executive Director,
(303) 628-0925 x15 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“For the first time ever, the Senate yesterday agreed to move on to a full debate of the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), by a vote of 73-25. We’ve passed the first of many hurdles, but it’s not over – this is the Senate’s chance to do the right thing. In the past, Congress has failed to outlaw unfair and unequal pay practices – like the ones that impacted Leisa Patin in Pearland, Texas, who was hired at $12,000 less than a male counterpart.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would close loopholes in our existing equal pay laws, prohibit retaliation against workers who ask about or share wage information, and empower women to better negotiate salary and benefit increases.
The most recent Census Bureau statistics show that the long-standing gap between women’s and men’s earnings has changed little. Overall, women workers in full-time, year-round jobs still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men in those jobs. There is an even greater gap for African American women and Latinas.
The PFA would help spur our nation’s economic recovery. Every cent counts in these tough economic times, when more women are primary family breadwinners or co-breadwinners than ever before. Leisa discovered the pay discrepancy through talking with her coworker, and was able to negotiate a higher wage with her human resources department through a promotion. Countless other women are not so fortunate and are even retaliated against when they ask about their pay. That’s why the PFA is so important to closing the gap. If your employer prohibits you from having conversations about your salary, it’s difficult to find out if you’re being paid less than your male co-workers and take action to correct it.
The wage gap has long-term effects on the economic security of women and families. Women lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, over their careers. That means less money to make ends meet and achieve economic security for families. In this tough economy, more families are counting on women’s earnings. Unfair pay practices hurt family budgets, especially for those who rely solely on female earnings.
Now is the time for Congress to take the steps necessary to effectively address wage discrimination and eliminate loopholes that have undermined the Equal Pay Act’s effectiveness. 9to5 will continue to engage our members, to ensure that the full Senate votes to pa this important legislation.”
About 9to5: With forty-one years’ experience in winning justice for working women, 9to5 leads the way to create a powerful force for change on issues affecting low-wage women and their families. www.9to5.org