Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded the passage of H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation strengthens and closes loopholes in existing law to help ensure that women and men get paid the same if they are doing the same work.
More than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women, on average, still make only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families. That gap is even wider for women of color. For every dollar earned by white men, Black women are paid 63 cents and Latina women are paid 55 cents comparatively.
"We need to ensure our economy works for everyone. One crucial way we can do that is by ensuring women equal pay for equal work," said Congressman Kildee. "We have seen the devastating and disproportionate impact this pandemic has had on women when it comes to wages and job stability. We must end pay discrimination, so that women are treated fairly and have the ability to pay their bills, save for retirement and take care of their families."
The Paycheck Fairness Act would build upon the landmark Equal Pay Act of 1963 by:
Requiring employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.
Banning retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages.
Ensuring women can receive the same robust remedies for sex-based pay discrimination currently available to those subjected to discrimination based on race and ethnicity.
Removing obstacles in the Equal Pay Act to facilitate a wronged worker's participation in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.
Improving the Department of Labor's tools for enforcing the Equal Pay Act.
Aiding all businesses with their equal pay practices, recognizing excellence in pay practices by businesses and empowering women and girls by creating a negotiation skills training program.
Prohibiting employers from requiring that applicants provide salary history, so that pay discrimination does not follow women from job to job.
The passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act today is the latest action taken by Congressman Kildee to support workers and families and make Congress work for the people. In the last few months, the House has passed:
The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing immediate economic relief to Michigan families, seniors and small businesses with direct cash payments, accelerating vaccine distribution, extending small business relief and reopening schools safely.
H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, to strengthen federal laws to protect workers' right to organize, negotiate wages and fight for fair working conditions.
H.R. 5, the Equality Act, to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, education, federal funding, employment, housing and access to credit.
H.R.1620, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, to end instances of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking by improving law enforcement responses to violence and funding local programs to support victims.