WASHINGTON, DC — Today Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) marked Equal Pay Day and cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable. Matsui joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) in cosponsoring the legislation in the House of Representatives. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate.
“It is unacceptable that working women in this country are still not receiving equal pay for equal work,” said Matsui. “This is about more than fairness, the pay gap is undermining the economic security of American families. Less take home pay means that women have to stretch a smaller budget for everything from groceries, to child care, to doctors’ visits. I will keep fighting for legislative solutions, like the Paycheck Fairness Act, to close the pay gap for women in this country.”
Equal Pay Day symbolizes the date when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. Despite making up half the workforce, more than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, American women still make only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by a man. The gap is even wider for women of color, with African American women making 63 cents on the dollar, and Hispanic women making only 54 cents, on average, compared with white men.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, ending the practice of pay secrecy, easing workers’ ability to individually or jointly challenge pay discrimination, and strengthening the available remedies for wronged employees.