Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act

June 10, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., (NJ-10) stated the following in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act:

“Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, landmark legislation signed into law by President John F. Kennedy to end gender discrimination in the workplace and provide women with equal pay for equal work. Not only was this a great stride in the advancement of civil rights, but it was also meant to improve the quality of life for working women, mothers, and their families.

“Although we have made progress in closing the gender wage gap, women still typically earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns for the same work. In New Jersey, the gap is staggering with women earning on average $13,413 less per year, and the difference is even greater for women of color who on average earn just 64 cents on the dollar as their male counterparts.  This gross gender pay disparity has a devastating effect not just on women, but also on their families and our local economies as the current wage disparity could pay for 107 weeks of groceries, 3600 gallons of gas, or more than a year’s rent. 

“Clearly, the Equal Pay Act is due for an upgrade. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which has been blocked by House Republicans, would help accomplish the goals that the Equal Pay Act set out to achieve by closing loopholes in the law, abolishing gender discrimination in the workplace, and protecting workers from retaliation. This is a bipartisan issue; we must put our political differences aside and provide our mothers, wives, and daughters with the quality of life that they deserve. Because when women succeed, our economy succeeds.”