According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Women make up nearly half of our nation’s workforce. Yet from factory floors to boardrooms, their talent and hard work are not reflected in their paycheck. Today, women on average are paid only 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. For women of color, that pay gap is even wider.”
Tuesday happens to be Equal Pay Day, created by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 as a “public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.”
In Washington, D.C., U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) was joined at a press conference Tuesday by U.S. Rep Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) Mazie Hirono, the Democrat of Hawaii.
They called for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure that has been blocked by Senate Republicans. The bill, says The Hill, “would punish employers for retaliating against workers who share wage information and would allow workers to sue for punitive damages for wage discrimination, among other things.”
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Mark Takai, all Dems from Hawaii, also released messages of support for fair pay for women.
Meanwhile, The Huffington Post says that Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and GOP Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) introduced the Workplace Advancement Act last week, “which would make it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for talking to each other about their salaries.”