SHAHEEN: WE MUST MAKE EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK A REALITY

At press conference with Congressional women and advocacy groups, Shaheen calls for passage of Paycheck Fairness Act

April 01, 2014

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) this morning joined Senate and House Democratic women and advocacy groups on Capitol Hill at a press conference to call for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act to finally close the gender pay gap.

Currently, women in New Hampshire earn just 78 percent of what their male counterparts earn. The Paycheck Fairness Act takes critical steps to empower women to negotiate for equal pay, close legal loopholes, create strong incentives for employers to obey the laws that are in place, and strengthen federal outreach and enforcement efforts to help women achieve pay equity.  

“While women in America have made significant strides and cut through barriers, the fight for equal pay for equal work is not over,” Shaheen said. “It’s time to finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act in order to strengthen laws protecting women from pay discrimination.”

As women have increasingly become the breadwinners for many families in New Hampshire and around the country, making equal pay for equal work a reality is a critical economic issue. Women and their families lose an estimated $434,000 over the course of their careers because of pay discrimination, and the Paycheck Fairness Act would build on the Equal Pay Act’s promise of equal pay for equal work to eliminate pay disparities based on gender. The legislation would specifically require employers to demonstrate that wage gaps between men and women doing the same work have a business justification and are truly a result of factors other than gender. The bill would also prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers.

Shaheen is the first woman to be elected both governor and senator in American history and over the course of her career has been a staunch supporter of pay-equity laws.  As governor of New Hampshire, Shaheen signed a law that created a process for addressing allegations of pay discrimination based on gender. She is an original co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate.