U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) today released the following statement in honor of Equal Pay Day, which marks the day in 2013 when women's wages finally catch up to what men were paid in 2012.
In the second district, women make only 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. Across all of Wisconsin, women make 78 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.
"On Equal Pay Day, we commit to ensure that equal pay for equal work is more than just a catch phrase, but a reality. Wage discrimination not only offends our founding principles of justice and equality, it also has a profound impact on the economic security of our families. In my district, women make only 81 cents for every dollar a man earns, which equates to losses of almost $10,000 a year in wages--money that could be used on groceries, child care or educational opportunities.
"I am proud to cosponsor The Paycheck Fairness Act, which makes important strides toward providing women with the tools they need to fight wage discrimination. The wage gap hurts Wisconsin women, Wisconsin families, and Wisconsin communities, and we have an urgent, moral need to close it."
Pocan is a cosponsor of the The Paycheck Fairness Act, which would strengthen and close loopholes in the nearly 50-year-old Equal Pay Act.
Additionally, The Paycheck Fairness Act would:
-Prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who discuss salaries with colleagues;
-Put gender-based discrimination on equal footing with other forms of wage discrimination -- such as race or national origin -- and allow women to take legal action for damages;
-Require employers to prove that pay differences exist for legitimate, job-related reasons;
-Create a negotiation skills training program for women and girls;
-Recognize employers for excellence in their pay practices;
-Provide businesses, especially small ones, assistance with equal pay practices; and
-Enhance the ability of the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate and enforce pay discrimination laws.