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Shea-Porter Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Equal Pay Act; Calls for Enactment of Paycheck Fairness Act

Press Release

Location: Manchester, NH

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter celebrated the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy signing the Equal Pay Act into law by calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 377).

"50 years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, women in New Hampshire still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men," Shea-Porter said. "Equal pay for equal work is not simply a woman's issue -- it's a family issue, and we must continue fighting to help families close the wage gap that exists between working women and men."

Families increasingly rely on women's wages to make ends meet. When women are paid less than men for doing the same work, it affects their ability to send their kids to good schools, afford quality health care, and pay for everyday needs.

"People should be paid based on their skills and how hard they work, not on their gender," Shea-Porter said. "Congress can help ensure workplace fairness by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, and there is no reason to delay this legislation."

Shea-Porter is a strong advocate for issues that are important to women and families. She is an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, and was an original cosponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which became law on January 29, 2009.

The Paycheck Fairness Act passed the House in 2008 and 2009, but Senate Republicans blocked the measure. The bill would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and close loopholes by providing effective options to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work, and by protecting employees from retaliation for sharing salary information with their co-workers.

When President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963 he said it would mean that "when women enter the labor force they will find equality in their pay envelopes." Over the past 50 years, the Equal Pay Act has never been updated, and today, while progress on equal pay has been made, women in New Hampshire still earn 23 cents less than their male counterparts.

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