Payne Statement on Equal Pay Day: “It’s Well Past Time” to Close the Pay Gap

Apr 14, 2015 Issues: Economy and Jobs

Washington, D.C.  – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) today issued the following statement in recognition of Equal Pay Day—the day that marks when, more than three months into the year, women’s wages catch up to what men were paid in the previous year:

“Fifty-two years have passed since the enactment of the Equal Pay Act, yet there remains a gender pay gap—even after factoring in occupation, education, and experience, among other qualifications.

“Today, women on average make 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. The gap is worse for women of color. In New Jersey, African-American women earn just 58.4 cents for every dollar a man earns, and Latinas earn just 44 cents for every dollar a man earns.

“At a time when a record number of women are the primary or co-breadwinners of their families, the gender pay gap has serious consequences for women and their families, who are trying to pay their bills and get ahead.

“The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2015 would help close the wage gap between women and men working equivalent jobs. It’s well past time to pass this legislation and put an immediate end to the discriminatory burdens of the pay gap.”

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.

Last month, Congressman Payne, Jr. 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.