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Houlahan: Equal Pay for Equal Work Is Long Overdue

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) voted to pass H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, of which she is a cosponsor. This bipartisan legislation will help close the gender wage gap by strengthening equal pay protections for women.

 

“The fact that we still don’t have equal pay for equal work is anathema to our American values,” said Houlahan. “Gender should not affect one’s pay, and it’s high time that our country writes into policy that indeed, equal work receives equal pay. Given this bill has support from both Democrats and Republicans, the Senate should have no choice but to act and pass this bill, which is frankly long overdue.”

 

Nearly six decades after Congress enacted the 1963 Equal Pay Act, there is still a serious wage gap based on gender and race. Full-time working women earn only 82 cents, on average, for every dollar a man earns, which amounts to an annual disparity of $10,157 and a career disparity of more than $400,000. The gap is even larger for women of color: on average, Black women earn just 63 cents, Native American women just 60 cents and Latinas just 55 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man earns.

 

To help close this gap, the Paycheck Fairness Act strengthens the protections and closes the loopholes in the Equal Pay Act. The bill would:

  • Require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons and ban retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages.
  • Prohibit employers from relying on salary history in determining future pay, so that pay discrimination does not follow women from job to job.
  • Improve the Department of Labor’s tools for enforcing the Equal Pay Act and ensure women can receive the same robust remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subjected to pay discrimination based on race and ethnicity.
  • Provide assistance to all businesses to help them with their equal pay practices and create a negotiation skills training program to help women negotiate higher pay.

 

 

 

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator and a nonprofit leader. She represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Small Business Committee.

 

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