Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today recognized Equal Pay Day, a day that marks when women's pay from January 2012 to April 9, 2013, will finally equal what men were paid in calendar year 2012 alone. To highlight this continued pay disparity, Congressman Kildee today cosponsored the Equal Pay Day resolution, which urges Congress to immediately pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to close wage disparities amongst genders.
In one of his first legislative actions, Congressman Kildee cosponsored H.R. 377, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which seeks to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. According to a new report from the American Association of University Women, women in Michigan's Fifth Congressional District still earn only 74 cents for every dollar earned by men.
"One of the nation's bedrock principles is fairness and equality, yet women today still don't receive the same pay as men who do the same work," Congressman Kildee said. "While we've come a long way since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, the fact remains that pay disparities still exist between genders and that is unacceptable. That's why I'm a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will help close the wage gap. This Equal Pay Day, it's time to finally pass legislation that will ensure our wives, sisters, daughters and granddaughters earn equal pay for equal work. We owe them nothing less."
Congressman Kildee has championed the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act since becoming a member of Congress. In January, Congressman Kildee held a roundtable discussion in Flint to discuss his efforts to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. He has also spoken on the floor of the House of Representatives urging his colleagues to immediately take up and pass the legislation.
The wage gap in Michigan is even more substantial for African-American and Hispanic women, who are only paid 65 cents and 56 cents, respectively, to every dollar paid to men.
In his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama also highlighted the bill, saying that the House should "finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year."
The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the Equal Pay Act by:
Requiring employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.
Establishing a rule banning retaliation against workers who discuss their wage and salary information.
Providing businesses with assistance in equal pay practices, including sharing best practices by other employers.
Improving the Department of Labor's tools for enforcing wage discrimination, including speeding up wage data collection from federal contractors and conducting studies and reviews of wage information data from the private sector.