Walz Cosponsors Paycheck Fairness Act, Marks Equal Pay Day
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, as we mark Equal Pay Day, Rep. Walz (D-MN) cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination.
“It’s shocking that in 2017, we’re still fighting to ensure equal pay for equal work,” Representative Walz said. “And let me be clear, equal pay isn’t just a women’s issue—it’s an economic and middle class family issue. Families increasingly rely on women’s wages to make ends meet. When women bring home less money each day, they have less for the everyday needs of their families – groceries, rent, child care, gasoline.”
Equal Pay Day symbolizes the date when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. Despite making up half the workforce, more than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, American women still make only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by a man. The gap is even wider for women of color, with African American women making 63 cents on the dollar, and Hispanic women making only 54 cents, on average, compared with white men.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, ending the practice of pay secrecy, easing workers’ ability to individually or jointly challenge pay discrimination, and strengthening the available remedies for wronged employees.