Congresswoman Schakowsky Votes For, House Passes Paycheck Fairness Act

March 27, 2019
Press Release

Congresswoman Schakowsky Votes For, House Passes Paycheck Fairness Act

WASHINGTON,DC - Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Vice Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force, issued the following statement on passage of H.R. 7, The Paycheck Fairness Act, which strengthens and closes loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act and provides effective remedies for women who are not being paid equal pay for equal work:

“The gender pay gap in the United States is flat-out unacceptable. We need equal pay in the United States, and we need it now,” said Congresswoman Schakowsky. “Today, House Democrats led the charge in passing The Paycheck Fairness Act, which builds on the progress of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to remedy many of the discriminatory practices that employers use to pay women less. I celebrate the businesses throughout Illinois and around that country that pay women the same amount as men for equal work. Unequal paychecks hold American women, families, and our economy back and we must make the wage gap a thing of the past. This bill, along with the support of unions and guaranteeing the right to organize, will be the driving force in ending the gender wage gap.”

This legislation seeks to close the stark gender pay gap that exists in the United States today. The bill has been introduced every Congress since 1997 and passed the House of Representatives for the third time today with the support of all Democrats and 7 Republicans.

Next Tuesday, April 2 will mark Equal Pay Day, the date on which the average white woman finally catches up to the yearly salary her male counterpart earned the year before. The wage gap is even larger for women of color with African American women on average earning only 61 cents, Latinas on average earning only 53 cents and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women earning only 62 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. Full-time working women still earn just 80 cents, on average, for every dollar a man earns, amounting to a yearly gap of $10,169 between full-time working men and women. The National Partnership for Women and Families has calculated what $10,169 could mean for a median family in America: ten additional months of rent or fourteen more months of child care.

Key provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act include:

  • Requiringemployers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.  In doing so, it ensures that employers who try to justify paying a man more than a woman for the same job must show the disparity is not sex-based, but job-related and necessary.
  • Banning retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages.
  • Ensures women can receive the same robust remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subjected to discrimination based on race and ethnicity.
  • Providing assistance to all businesses to help them with their equal pay practices, recognizes excellence in pay practices by businesses, and empowers women and girls by creating a negotiation skills training program.
  • Prohibitingemployers from relying on salary history in determining future pay, so that pay discrimination does not follow women from job to job.