Today, at 2:30 pm, the U.S. Senate will vote on equal pay.
Sponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3220) would help close the gender wage gap. Passing the act “would prohibit employer retaliation, allow workers to join class action lawsuits, as well as ensure that the victims received back pay from discriminatory employers.”
The Paycheck Fairness Act would:
- Bar employers from forbidding employees to discuss their salaries among themselves
- Require employers to pay women and men with similar qualifications the same wages for similar jobs
- Allow women to sue for punitive damages in discrimination cases
Opponents of the Paycheck Fairness Act claim no wage gap exists. Really? Some assholes have actually blamed women’s choices on the wage gap. Wow. The truth is that women don’t earn the same as men in the same fields and with the same level of education.
The passage of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which addresses wage discrimination, was a step in the right direction. But this doesn’t mean we have equal pay. As Debra L. Ness, National Partnership for Women & Families, argues:
“Across education levels, occupations, work patterns and other perceived “choices,” the data show that women are paid less than men. And at our current rate of “progress,” which is painfully slow, it would take four decades for the gap to close if Congress doesn’t act.”
Women who work full-time still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes for the same job. But this gender gap grows larger for women of color. African American women earn 62 cents and Latina women earn 54 cents for every dollar a white man earns. It’s time this sexist and racist bullshit stops.
According to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):
“Currently there is no broad prohibition against penalizing and even firing employees just for TALKING about their salaries. By leaving workers in the dark, workers are prevented from ever learning they are experiencing pay discrimination in their workplace.”
If people just talk about and compare their salaries, they can be fired. How would women know they’re being discriminated against unless they talk about it? This bill would stop put an end to such discrimination.
Women should receive the same pay that men do for the same job. Sadly, we’re still a long way off from achieving equality.
Call both your Senators 1-888-876-9527 right now and urge them to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act right now.