Congresswoman Chellie Pingree issued the following statement today, on the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy signing the Equal Pay Act:
"Despite all the progress we've made, American women still face a fundamental inequality: for the same work, they make less than their male counterparts. A typical woman in this country makes only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, and that really adds up. In the course of a year, on average, that's $11,000 less a year--or enough money to pay for 3,000 gallons of gas or a year of rent. Over the course of her career, a typical workingwoman loses almost a quarter of a million dollars in wages, simply for being female. Unequal pay hurts working women, their families, our communities, and our economy."
Pingree is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which expands the Equal Pay Act and closes some loopholes in current law. Among other things the Paycheck Fairness Act makes it legal for workers to share salaryinformation with one another and would require employers to prove that pay disparities are based on job performance and not gender.
Since the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, the gender gap in pay has closed by less than a half-cent per year. At that rate, it will take another 50 years for women to make as much as men.