How are you “celebrating” Equal Pay Day? Forgot to mark the occasion?
That’s OK. There are, unfortunately, four more Equal Pay Days coming this year.
That’s because Equal Pay Day(s) mark the day in 2019 when women’s pay catches up to what a white man made in 2018, statistically speaking. Today, April 2, is the day for women overall, who make about 80 cents on the dollar to a white man.
Latinas, who only make about 53 cents to the dollar, will have to wait all the way until November 20 for their Equal Pay Day.
The Pay Gap
We mark these “holidays” to draw attention to the gender pay gap. The 1963 Equal Pay Act established the principle of “equal pay for equal work,” but as you know, it didn’t solve the problem. (In fact, the pay gap has closed about halfway since the law was signed.)
What’s still contributing to the gap?
- exceptions built into the 1963 law
- poor enforcement
- unfavorable court rulings
- employers basing pay on salary history
But there’s legislation in Congress right now to fix it.
The Paycheck Fairness Act
Last week, the U.S. House passed the landmark Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7) to combat these lingering discrepancies — and start to finally close the pay gap for good. Rep. Luisa DeLauro (D-CT) has been introducing this bill in the House for 22 years!
Here’s what’s in the bill that passed the House:
- protections for employees who discuss salaries with each other
- prohibitions on employers asking about salary history
- funding for a negotiation training program for women
- more data gathering by the Department of Labor
Want to see these important reforms become law? Now is the time to put pressure on your Senators to take up and vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act. Call them at (202) 224-3121.