Rep. Henry A. Waxman released the following statement today commemorating the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy signing the Equal Pay Act:
"When he signed it, President Kennedy stated that the Equal Pay Act of 1963 would mean "when women enter the labor force they will find equality in their pay envelopes.' And yet, 50 years later, women still do not have equality in their pay. In 1963, women on average made 59 cents for every dollar earned by men. Today, women on average nationwide make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men -- progress, but not nearly enough progress."
"The continuing 23-cents nationwide pay gap between what men and women earn highlights the importance of Congress finally enacting the Paycheck Fairness Act, and I'm proud to be a cosponsor of the bill. Over the past 50 years, the Equal Pay Act has never been updated. The Paycheck Fairness Act would update and strengthen the Equal Pay Act."
Additionally, according to a new report from the American Association of University Women, women in California still earn only 85% cents for every dollar earned by men--amounting to $7,464 in wages lost each year.
The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 377) strengthens and closes loopholes in the Equal Pay Act by providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work and protecting employees from retaliation for sharing salary information with their co-workers. In 2008 and again in 2009, the Democratic-led House succeeded in passing the bill, but unfortunately in both Congresses, Senate Republicans were successful in blocking the measure.