As we mark National Equal Pay Day on April 9, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin said that more work needs to be done to close the wage gap that still exists between men and women -- including the enactment of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Senator Baldwin is a co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, S. 84,in the U.S. Senate.
"With a record number of women in the workforce, closing the wage gap between women and men will help strengthen Wisconsin families," said Senator Baldwin. "Fairness for Wisconsin women will lead to a stronger middle class."
According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, Wisconsin women, on average, are paid 78 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a yearly gap of $10,324 between men and women who work full-time in the state. As a group, women who are employed full-time in Wisconsin lose approximately $8,314,309,512 every year due to the wage gap. Additionally, women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers -- and full-time, year-round work at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour leaves a woman with two children thousands of dollars below the poverty line.
The Paycheck Fairness Act updates and strengthens the landmark Equal Pay Act signed into law in 1963. The Paycheck Fairness Act would help women fight wage unfairness and prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who discuss salaries with colleagues. It would also require employers to prove that pay differences exist for legitimate, job-related reasons; provide businesses, especially small ones, assistance with equal pay practices; and recognize employers for excellence in their pay practices.
"We have made progress on this issue of fairness, now we need to work across party lines to close the wage gap," Baldwin said. "More needs to be done to strengthen the economic security of Wisconsin women and families and passing the Paycheck Fairness Act will help do that."