Rep. Foster Works For Pay Equity
Today, Representative Bill Foster (IL-14) voted on two pieces of legislation aimed at eliminating the wage gap between men and women.
"Even though the wage gap has been narrowed since the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, the disparity in pay between men and women is still pronounced," said Foster. "Particularly as a father, I want to ensure that the economic opportunities available to my daughter are the same as those available to my son."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women only make 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The Institute of Women's Policy Research found that this wage disparity will cost women anywhere from $400,000 to $2 million in lost wages over a lifetime.
Foster voted for H.R. 12, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which passed the House by a vote of 256-163. This bill strengthens the Equal Pay Act and closes the loopholes that have allowed employers to avoid responsibility for discriminatory pay.
"Pay equity isn't a women's issue - it's an economic issue," Foster said. "In this turbulent economy, paying women equal pay for equal work could play a significant role in boosting the economic circumstance of countless families in Illinois."
Foster also voted for H.R. 11, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. On May 29, 2007, in its 5-4 Ledbetter v. Goodyear decision, the Supreme Court changed the rules to severely restrict the rights of employees to challenge unlawful pay discrimination. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act restores employee rights to challenge pay discrimination. The bill passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 247-171.