Congressman Jim Himes today called attention to Equal Pay Day by highlighting the recent passage of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. In addition, he called on all Americans to work together to achieve equal pay for equal work by supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act. Equal Pay Day marks the day of year on which the wages paid to American women catch up to the wages paid to men from the previous year.
"Guaranteeing that women receive equal pay for equal work will help struggling families and stimulate the economy," said Congressman Himes. "Especially in times of economic crisis, every penny counts, so it is more important than ever to close the wage gap. We shouldn't still be fighting for equal pay for women when my young daughters enter the workforce."
The Paycheck Fairness Act is a comprehensive update to the 46-year-old Equal Pay Act that brings equal pay laws in line with other civil rights laws. This bill would take real steps to deter wage discrimination by empowering women to negotiate for equal pay, creating stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, and strengthening federal enforcement efforts.
According to the National Women's Law Center, women in Connecticut earn only 80% of what men do for the same work, but achieving equal pay for women is one of the top priorities of the 111th Congress. In January, Congress passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored the longstanding interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and other discrimination statutes, thereby protecting women and other workers. The Paycheck Fairness Act awaits action in the Senate.