February 01, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) joined his colleagues to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, help eliminate the gender wage gap, and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable. Introduced ahead of the twelfth anniversary of the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, the Paycheck Fairness Act would end the practice of pay secrecy and strengthen the available remedies for wronged employees.
“This legislation is about fairness, plain and simple: gender should not be a factor in setting a pay grade for the same job,” said Senator King. “Though it’s unfortunate that this bill is necessary in the year 2021, I’m proud to stand alongside a large group of my colleagues in the House and the Senate as we push for stronger accountability and fair and equal pay for all.”
More than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women on average still make only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men; the gap is even wider for women of color. Compared to white men, African American women are paid 63 cents and Latina women are paid 55 cents. This means that under the same circumstances, a woman working full time year-round would earn $400,000 less than a man over the duration of her career. The wage gap shortchanges women’s ability to save for retirement and reduces their total Social Security and pension benefits, contributing to more older women living in poverty. The Paycheck Fairness Act is bipartisan and again designated as H.R. 7 in the House, making it one of the House of Representatives’ top ten bills, and is included among President Biden’s gender equality priorities.
Pay inequity not only affects women – it affects children and families and our economy as a whole. That is because women in this country are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of families with children. Over the past two decades, women make a growing share of the family income in all family types.