To mark Equal Pay Day -- the day in a given year that women are finally paid as much as a man earned the previous year -- Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today highlighted the fact that women in Arizona earn, on average, 85 cents for every dollar paid to men. You can learn more about income inequality in Arizona and review sources for the analysis at http://bit.ly/YgNT2V.
Grijalva has consistently voted in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which has not come up for a vote under the House Republican majority.He and other Democrats are calling for enactment of the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen and close loopholes in the nearly 50-year-old Equal Pay Act.
"It is ridiculous that in the twenty-first century, women are still dealing with this issue," Grijalva said. "Payment based on gender should not be tolerated, and the young women of today should not have to deal with this tomorrow. This type of discrimination must end. We owe it our daughters, sisters and mothers to close the wage gap immediately."
Over the past 18 months Grijalva has introduced and supported several pieces of legislation that create jobs and make the workplace safer and more fair for employees. A partial list includes the Back to Work Budget, the Women and Workforce Investment for Nontraditional Jobs Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
The House passed the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Democratic-led 110th and 111th Congresses. Republicans have consistently blocked the bill and refused to pass it through the House in the 112th Congress.
According to the latest data available, the nationwide yearly pay gap is $11,084 between full-time working men and women, meaning that women earn 77 percent of what men earn every year. African American women on average earn only 64 cents and Latinas on average earn only 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.
For employees, the Paycheck Fairness Act is meant to:
Protect employees who voluntarily share their own salary information at work from retaliation by an employer.
Remove an inequality in wage discrimination law so remedies available to plaintiffs in Equal Pay Act claims would be the same as damages available to plaintiffs who file wage discrimination claims under other laws, such as for race-based wage discrimination.
Remove obstacles in the Equal Pay Act to facilitate plaintiffs' participation in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination.
Require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate job-related reasons.
Create a negotiations skills training program for women and girls.