HOLT JOINS HOUSE IN PASSING THE PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT
With Rep. Rush Holt's (NJ-12) support, the House of Representatives tonight passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) that would help curb gender-based wage discrimination in the workplace. The bill would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and close loopholes that allowed employers to avoid responsibility for discriminatory pay. Holt, a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor which passed the bill last week, is a cosponsor of the legislation.
"Last week, I had the honor of participating in a portrait unveiling ceremony for former New Jersey Representative Mary Norton, who was a tireless advocate for equal pay. She understood that the wage gap is not just a women's issue - it is a family issue," Holt said. "When women earn less for equal work, families are forced to do more with less. Affording all of life's expenses is challenging enough; it should not be made harder as a result of women being short changed on payday."
According the U.S. Census Bureau, on average women earn only 77 percent as much as men. The discrepancy is higher for women of color: African-American women earn only 71.7 cents - and Latinas only 58.5 cents - for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. The Paycheck Fairness Act would reach beyond the provisions of the Equal Pay Act to address this wage gap by creating a training program to strengthen women's negotiation skills and by establishing additional avenues for women to seek equal pay in the workplace. The Paycheck Fairness Act also would seek to increase the efficacy of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and better use the resources of the Department of Labor.