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Ahead of Equal Pay Day, Senators Shaheen & Hassan Re-introduce Paycheck Fairness Act

In recognition of Equal Pay Day, Shaheen urges Senate consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act so Congress can finally take action on closing the gender wage gap. 

(WASHINGTON, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) recently joined Senate Democrats in reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, important legislation that would help eliminate the gender wage gap and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable. The bill would end the practice of pay secrecy and strengthen the available remedies for wronged employees. The legislation is led by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). In recognition of Equal Pay Day, which is celebrated on March 14, Shaheen urged Senate consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act so Congress can finally take action on closing the gender wage gap. 

“Nearly 60 years ago, legislation was passed making pay discrimination illegal. Yet women, particularly women of color, continue to experience a pay gap in the workplace to this day. This massive discrepancy grows with each passing day and holds women and their families back,” said Senator Shaheen. “As we prepare to recognize Equal Pay Day, it is time we match our message with action and ensure our laws reflect our values. It is past time that equal pay for equal work is the law of the land.  This legislation will do precisely that by protecting and empowering women with a strengthened Equal Pay Act, ensuring loopholes are closed and employers are held accountable for pay discrimination. Pay equity is not a controversial concept that requires debate – let's pay women the same as men for doing the same job.”  

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. That pay gap widens for women of color. Compared to white men, Black women are paid 63 cents and Latina women are paid 55 cents. For a woman working full time year-round, the current wage gap accounts for a loss of more than $400,000 over the course of their career. This wage gap continues to hurt women’s ability to save for retirement and reduces their total Social Security and pension benefits, making older women more likely to live in poverty. 

In the United States, Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into the year the average median woman must work to equal the amount made by the average median man the year prior. 

The Paycheck Fairness Act was also re-introduced by Senator’s Shaheen and Hassan in the 117th congress.  

Full text of the bill can be found here.