Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) released the following statement today in recognition of Equal Pay Day:
"Today is Equal Pay Day -- a day to reflect on the wage gap and how it affects women, families, and the economy. Although the wage gap between men and women has narrowed since the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, gender-based wage discrimination remains a serious obstacle for women in the U.S. workforce. Women are the primary or co-breadwinners in six out of ten households in America - yet earn only 77 cents to every dollar paid to men. For African American and Latina women, it is even worse; they are paid only 62 and 54 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
"In California, women are paid 84 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a yearly gap of $8,151 between full time working men and women in the state, which is equal to 120 tanks of gas or 62 weeks of groceries. Women in California cannot afford discrimination and lower wages, and neither can their families. This is especially true for Latina women who are only paid 57 cents for every dollar paid to men. The difference in the pay gap would equal 13 more months of rent for these women and their families.
"I strongly support H.R. 1519, the Paycheck Fairness Act, a common-sense solution to the problem of pay inequity. I urge my colleagues to consider this bill that would help promote fair pay for women by creating stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, by closing loopholes, and by giving women additional tools to help fight pay discrimination.
"As we rebuild our economy, we must send an unequivocal message that we will not allow pay discrimination to continue. Women deserve equal pay for equal work. Today, let's renew our commitment to closing the wage gap once and for all. I am proud to continue to work to shatter these barriers so that when our daughters and granddaughters join the American workforce, they will not encounter a single shard of today's glass ceiling."