Washington, DC -- Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) released the following statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's signing of the Equal Pay Act into law, landmark legislation addressing pay equity amongst women in the workplace:
"When President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, he said it was the first step in equaling the workplace for women," explained Negrete McLeod. "Today we are still fighting to close the gap in pay despite the Equal Pay Act's 50th anniversary as law. As a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, I urge my colleagues in Congress to consider and pass this important common sense legislation."
Women make up more than half the workforce nationwide yet continue to make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. Men in California earned on average $49,281 compared to women, who earned on average $41,817-- an earnings ratio of just 85 percent. With forty-nine million children depending on the wages of the female earner in the family, women make up nearly two-thirds of minimum wage earners leaving many of them and their families below the poverty line.
"Equal pay is not only a women's issue -- it's a family issue," explained Negrete McLeod. "Families increasingly rely on women's wages to make ends meet. With less take-home pay for women, it means less money for everyday expenses for their families such as buying groceries, or paying for rent, child care, and doctors' visits. The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 not only helping women gain pay parity, but also strengthening a family's economic well-being."
The Paycheck Fairness Act strengthens and closes loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, including providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work and protecting employees from retaliation, among other employee protections.