Kaptur Applauds House Passage of Paycheck Fairness Act
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), the longest serving woman in the history of the U.S. House, released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which strengthens and closes loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act, including effective remedies for women who are not receiving equal pay for equal work.
“The passage of Paycheck Fairness Act is long overdue,” said Rep. Kaptur. “Our Republican colleagues say the Paycheck Fairness Act is unnecessary, a boom for trial attorneys and a burden on employers, but once again the latest numbers tell a different story. American women continue to lag far behind fair pay for equal work.”
“The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau once again revealed that American women working full-time, year-round, are typically paid only 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. The pay gaps are even more severe for women of color: 61cents for African American women and 53 cents for Latina women.
“Women take home less money than they have rightfully earned in every industry, no matter what they do, how high their level of education, or where they are from. Not only is this a matter of basic equality, economic justice and freedom, it also compounds and is a significant issue impacting women’s retirement security.
“The Paycheck Fairness Act provides a long-overdue remedy to the 1963 Equal Pay Act. It will give women the tools needed to successfully challenge pay discrimination and to incentivize employers to comply with the law.”
56 years after the enactment of the Equal Pay Act, 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. Based on today’s wage gap, a woman who worked full-time, year-round would typically lose $406,760 over a 40-year career.
The Paycheck Fairness Act:
- Requires employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.
- Bans 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.
- Removes obstacles in the Equal Pay Act to facilitate a wronged worker’s participation in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.
- Makes improvements in the Department of Labor’s tools for enforcing the Equal Pay Act.
- Provides 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.
- Prohibits employers from relying on salary history in determining future pay, so that pay discrimination does not follow women from job to job.