Payne, Jr. Marks Equal Pay Day, Cosponsors Paycheck Fairness Act

Apr 4, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) marked Equal Pay Day—the day that symbolizes when, more than three months into the year, women’s wages catch up to what men were paid in the previous year—by cosponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The Paycheck Fairness Act was sponsored by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who has introduced the legislation in every Congress since 1997. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

“In the United States of America, if you work hard, you should earn an honest day’s wage, regardless of your gender,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “That’s why it’s important that Congress pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to end pay disparities once and for all.”

“Equal Pay Day falls 94 days into 2017, which is 94 days too late for millions of American women and their families. Every year, I hope we never have to recognize this day, and though we have made some progress in closing the wage gap, it still exists for far too many,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “Women and men in the same job should have the same pay, and the Paycheck Fairness Act is a strong step forward in ensuring that we close the wage gap once and for all. This legislation addresses the issue in a comprehensive and sensible manner, and it is long overdue. President Trump campaigned on the promise that he would fight for American workers, including women, and I strongly encourage him to support this bill and make equal pay a reality.”

“I’m proud to sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act with Congresswoman DeLauro to make sure every woman working to support her family or herself is being paid the same as her male coworkers for the same work,” said Senator Murray. “At a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet, we should be working together to make sure women are not being left behind. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and I’m proud to join my colleagues to keep up the fight to ensure that all the hardworking women across this country are getting paid what they’ve earned.”

According to the National Women’s Law Center, women in New Jersey still earn only $0.82 for every dollar earned by men. Nationwide, women earn, on average, 80 percent of what men earn. Pay discrimination is worse for women of color. African-American women earn 63 cents on the dollar, while Hispanic women earn just 54 cents.

The Paycheck Fairness Act strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by closing loopholes that allow pay discrimination to continue, providing employees the rights they need to challenge and eliminate pay discrimination in the workplace, and ending pay secrecy.