Today, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) marked Equal Pay Day, saying that more needs to be done to close the gender wage gap. Equal Pay Day symbolizes when, more than three months into the year, women's wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year.
According to a new report from the American Association of University Women, California women still earn only 85 cents for every dollar earned by men. Nationwide, women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, despite the fact that the Equal Pay Act will mark its 50th anniversary in June.
"It's not right that 50 years after the Equal Pay Act was signed into law American women still only earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men," Congressman Huffman said. "Equal work deserves equal pay."
Achieving equal pay for women has been one of the top priorities of Democrats. In January 2009, the Democratic-led 111th Congress sent to the President's desk the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act--and it became the first bill signed into law by President Obama. This act restored the right of women to challenge unfair pay in court.
"Although the Lilly Ledbetter Act has been enacted, we need to do more," Congressman Huffman continued. "The Paycheck Fairness Act is just as important--it strengthens and closes loopholes in the nearly 50-year-old Equal Pay Act, including providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work."
In 2008 and again in 2009, the Democratic-led House succeeded in passing bill, but in both Congresses, Senate Republicans blocked the measure. Similarly, in 2012, Republicans in both the House and Senate voted to block the bill.