Payne Cosponsors Legislation to End Pay Discrimination

Mar 25, 2015 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) in introducing the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2015, legislation to help address the wage gap between women and men working equivalent jobs.

“It’s unthinkable that over fifty years after Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, full-time working women, on average, earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “Pay discrimination undermines women and their families, and breaks the American promise that if you work hard, you should earn an honest day’s wage.”

“As a father, it is extremely meaningful to help ensure that my daughter and my sons are paid based not on their gender, but on their work,” added Congressman Payne, Jr. “I am proud to co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act to end pay disparities once and for all.”

Women in every state, including New Jersey, are affected by the pay gap:

  • According to a September 2014 report by the American Association of University Women, median earnings for men in New Jersey were $60,815, compared to women’s median earnings of $48,640—an earnings ratio of 80 percent.
  • The pay gap is worse for women of color. According to an October 2014 report by the National Women’s Law Center, African-American women in New Jersey earn just 58.4 cents for every dollar a man earns.

The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2015 updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by closing loopholes that allow pay discrimination to continue and by providing employees the rights they need to challenge and eliminate pay discrimination in the workplace. The legislation also requires employers to demonstrate that wage disparity is related to job performance, not gender, and it prohibits employer retaliation for disclosing salary information with co-workers.