Rep. Payne, Jr. Votes to Get Women Equal Pay in the Workplace

April 15, 2021
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --  Patrick.Wright@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act today.  The bill (H.R. 7) strengthens federal law to promote equal pay in the workplace and reward employers that close the wage gap between genders for the same job.  Employers that fail to meet the new equal pay standards could face significant fines under the bill.         

“There is no reason why women should be paid less than men for the same work,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr.  “Women have succeeded in every field and every position in companies and organizations across the country.  This bill would get them the pay they rightfully deserve in their jobs.”

Although it has been almost 60 years since Congress passed the landmark 1963 Equal Pay Act, full-time working women earn only 82 cents for every dollar a man earns on average.  Based on these figures, women lose $10,157 per year and more than $400,000 over the course of their careers.  The gap is even larger for minority women.  Black women earn just 63 cents, Native American women just 60 cents and Latinas just 55 cents for every dollar paid to a white, non-Hispanic man.

The bill requires employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons and not based on gender.  It permits workers to discuss their wages and salaries with other employees in their workplace and bans retaliation against them.  It limits how employers can use the salary history of prospective employees, creates a negotiation and skills training program for those employers, and removes obstacles in the Equal Pay Act to allow workers to participate in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.     

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