WASHINGTON – The Committee on Education and Labor approved the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7) on Tuesday.
The legislation strengthens the protections against gender-based wage discrimination to ensure that all women receive equal pay for equal work.
Today, a woman still makes only 80 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by the white male counterpart.
Chairman Bobby Scott had this to say at Tuesday’s markup:
The gender wage gap, which collectively withholds up to $500 billion from women’s paychecks each year, undermines the financial stability of families, children, and our economy. Despite current protections, the lack of wage data transparency makes discrimination difficult to detect, let alone prevent. Even when wage discrimination is discovered, workplace rules that restrict information about wages and pay raises often keep working women from holding employers accountable for discrimination. The Paycheck Fairness Act would combat gender-based wage disparities by strengthening enforcement provisions in the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
The Paycheck Fairness Act was approved by the Committee on a party line vote (27-19).
According to the facts sheet, if women were paid the same as men, the poverty rate for all working women would be cut in half, from 8.0 percent to 3.8 percent, and the poverty rate for working single mothers would be cut by nearly half, from 28.9 percent to 14.5 percent.