The AFL-CIO strongly urges your support of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R 7) when it comes to the House floor this week.
The Paycheck Fairness Act is a long overdue remedial measure that responds to the demonstrated inadequacies of the 1963 Equal Pay Act. Although the Equal Pay Act made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to male and female employees who perform the same work, wage disparities between men and women persist in both the private and public sectors, at every educational level, across the country. Women working full time are paid only 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, and this gap is greater for women of color. While belonging to a union is the surest way to guarantee equal pay on the job—unionized women earn some 27% more than do their non-union counterparts—the Paycheck Fairness Act would provide new effective tools to close the wage gap.
The Paycheck Fairness Act provides targeted remedies designed to update the 1963 Equal Pay Act. It requires employers to demonstrate that wage gaps between men and women doing the same work truly result from factors unrelated to gender. It prohibits employers’ use of prior salary history in setting pay for new hires and employer retaliation against workers who discuss their pay with coworkers. Last, H.R. 7 brings Equal Pay Act remedies and class action procedures into conformance with those available for other civil rights claims, and strengthens the government’s ability to identify and remedy systematic wage discrimination by requiring employers to report pay data to the EEOC.
When women endure pay discrimination, entire families suffer. We urge you to support final passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 84) and to oppose any amendment that would weaken this important and long overdue legislation.
William Samuel, Director