Press Releases

DelBene Helps Reintroduce Paycheck Fairness Act to End Wage Discrimination

The legislation will help ensure women earn equal pay for equal work.

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Washington, DC, April 4, 2017 | comments

On Equal Pay Day, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) in reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help close the wage gap between women and men doing the same jobs. On average, women make just 80 cents for every dollar made by a man. The wage gap is even worse for Washington state women, who earn only 79 cents for every dollar made by male colleagues.

“Equal pay is not just good for women — it’s good for families, businesses and our economy. When women aren’t paid what they deserve, middle-class families and communities pay the price,” DelBene said. “More families than ever before rely on women’s wages to put food on the table, save for retirement and pay for their children’s education. The Paycheck Fairness Act will help ensure equal pay for equal work, once and for all.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act builds upon the landmark Equal Pay Act signed into law in 1963 by closing loopholes that have been barriers to equal pay. The bill would require employers to show pay disparity is truly related to job performance, not gender. It also prohibits employer retaliation for sharing salary information with coworkers. Under current law, employers can sue and punish employees for sharing such information.

The bill also empowers women in the workplace through enhanced outreach and training efforts on salary negotiation and other workplace skills.

More than 300 advocacy groups have endorsed the bill. Equal Pay Day, symbolizes when, more than three months into the year, women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Senate companion legislation.

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