Congressman Alan Lowenthal today marked the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's Equal Pay Act of 1963 and continued his support for the 113th Congress' Paycheck Fairness Act.
The Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from pay discrimination with regard to sex in the payment of wages to employees working within the same establishment and working at jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility. According to a new report from the American Association of University Women, California women still only earn on average 85 cents for every dollar earned by California men. The national average is even lower -- 77 cents for every dollar earned.
In response to the persistent income equality in America, Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act this January to amend the Equal Pay Act to ensure women are not paid less than men who hold the same job. The Paycheck Fairness Act has garnered 206 cosponsors since its introduction, including Congressman Lowenthal.
"To live in a country where discrimination and paycheck inequality still exist in the general workplace is saddening and embarrassing. We have made great progress in closing the income gap between women and men over the past fifty years, but there is still much work to be done," said Congressman Lowenthal. "While women in my home state of California are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to men -- eight cents higher than the current national average -- Congress must do more. That income disparity must end now. We must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act."
A discharge petition for the Paycheck Fairness Act, a petition to move the bill out of the Committee on Education and the Workforce and onto the House floor for consideration, was filed on April 11. The discharge petition currently needs 21 more signatures before it is allowed to be considered on the House floor by Congress.
The Congressman joined members of the House this morning in a social media campaign highlighting California's average income disparity -- a loss of $7,464 per year for California women.