House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined several Democratic Congressional leaders on Wednesday to announce that they are reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, a U.S. House Representative from Connecticut, and Senator Patty Murray, who represents the state of Washington, introduced the legislation meant to bolster equal pay protections for women and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Rep. DeLauro called the legislation “long overdue.”
The Paycheck Fairness Act, which was first introduced in 1997, would ensure that people doing the same work would receive the same pay, thereby helping to close the wage gap. Employers that pay employees different amounts for the same jobs would be required to demonstrate a cause for that discrepancy other than gender. It would also guarantee working women the right to challenge pay discrimination. Additionally, the Paycheck Fairness Act would end the practice of pay secrecy.
The introduction of the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2019 also marks the 10 year anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, President Barack Obama’s bill to help close the gender pay gap.
White women are still paid roughly 78 to 80 cents for every dollar men earn, and women of color are even worse off. For every dollar earned by a white man, African American women make 64 cents and Latina women make just 56 cents.