"Today’s hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act, held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), brings welcome and promising attention to the gender-based wage gap just a week before the nation recognizes Equal Pay Day – the day that marks how far into 2014 America’s women have had to work to catch up with the wages paid to men in 2013. This is a long overdue yet ideal time for Congress to pass this bill.
It is unacceptable that in 2014, when women make up nearly half the workforce and are essential breadwinners in two-thirds of households, women who work full time, year round are still paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. When women and their families lose thousands of dollars in critical income each year, they have less money to spend on food, gas, rent and other basic necessities, and our economy suffers as a result.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would help combat the gender-based wage discrimination that contributes to the wage gap and has plagued our nation for much too long. The bill would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, help to break harmful patterns of wage discrimination, and establish stronger workplace protections for women. And a 2014 survey shows that nearly two-thirds of voters support its passage.
We commend members of the Senate HELP Committee for making the Paycheck Fairness Act a priority. As President Obama said so eloquently in the State of the Union, the bill’s passage would be a tremendous step forward for women, their families and our nation. Americans know it’s time to end the days when women are paid less than men. It is time for all members of Congress to show that they do too."
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.