House unveils Paycheck Fairness Act to address unfair pay gaps in the US

"Because it is time that we pay people what they are worth and not how little they are desperate enough to accept."

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Image Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) joined sever other House members in introducing a bill that would end gender and racial wage disparities. On Wednesday, the Paycheck Fairness Act was introduced to close loopholes put forth by the Equal Pay Act.

The bill will address the unfair pay gaps that still persist in the United States. It “makes it legal and it makes it totally permissible to share your salary information at your workplace, and that’s incredibly important because for those who say that the wage gap does not exist, they should have no problem proving that,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“We cannot ask people their salary history and pay people depending on their salary history anymore,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Because it is time that we pay people what they are worth and not how little they are desperate enough to accept.”

While the Equal Pay Act was passed almost five decades ago, today, American women still earn just 80 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn,” Common Dreams reported. And according to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University, black women earn 65 cents on the dollar while Latina women earn just 57 cents. This is almost a $500,000 loss over the course of a women’s career.

“The progress of women in the workforce over the last fifty-six years is evident, but the financial penalty many women experience due to sex- and race-based pay discrimination must stop,” Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), said. “If closing the wage gap continues at its agonizingly-slow current rate, men and women will not reach wage equality until 2059. That is forty years too long.”

Ocasio-Cortez was joined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and many other representatives in the unveiling of the bill.

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