Shaheen Statement Marking Equal Pay Day

March 24, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released the following statement in recognition of Equal Pay Day. Equal Pay Day raises awareness of the gender wage gap in the United States and marks the day in the new year when the salary of the average American woman finally catches up to the salary earned by the average man during the previous year. Women of color experience even more egregious pay disparities – Black women don’t catch up to the average male salary until August 22nd; Native women until September 23rd; and Latina women until November 20th.

“Equal Pay Day is an annual reminder that America’s working women, particularly women of color, continue to face a persistent, troubling pay gap in workplaces across our nation. On average, American women are paid 82 cents to every dollar earned by men – a massive discrepancy that only grows with the passage of time and hurts women’s financial stability throughout their lives. Making matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these pay disparities, with the devastating economic impact of this crisis disproportionally falling on the shoulders of women,” said Shaheen. “We should not – and cannot – allow this status quo of inequity and discrimination to continue, which is why today must serve as a call to action for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would empower women and help ensure they are paid fair wages for their work. There is no excuse for us to not make equal pay for equal work a reality for millions of American women.”

Shaheen is a leader in the fight to end the gender pay gap. Shaheen has repeatedly supported and fought for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, 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. In 2019, Shaheen helped introduce a Senate Resolution calling on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to immediately eliminate gender-based pay discrimination between male and female athletes. Shaheen joined letters signed by the majority of Senate Democrats in March 2019 and June 2016 calling on the U.S. Soccer Federation to provide equal pay to its athletes. Shaheen also introduced the Even Playing Field Act, legislation to ensure equal pay, investment and working conditions for U.S. national team athletes, coaches and other personnel.