Cicilline, DeLauro Introduce Paycheck Fairness Act

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7) to enhance the Equal Pay Act and give working women the tools to fight back against pay discrimination and hold their employers accountable. The bill was also introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (WA).


“Despite the progress we have made over the years, women are still paid less than men. That is true in Rhode Island and across America. It’s wrong,” said Cicilline. “Democrats know that it doesn’t have to be this way. That’s why we’re introducing this bill today. There is no reason that working women should continue to earn less than their male counterparts.”


The Paycheck Fairness Act is strong, long-overdue legislation that closes the wage gap and ensures equal pay for equal work.  Ten years after President Obama made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the first bill he signed into law, Democrats are building on that progress with this critical legislation to unlock women’s full economic potential, empower families and grow the economy.


“Women and men in the same job should have the same pay, and the Paycheck Fairness Act is a strong step forward in ensuring that we close the wage gap once and for all,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “This legislation addresses the issue in a comprehensive and sensible manner—and it is long overdue. Our diverse and energetic Congress is poised to act on this legislation, and I look forward to its swift passage in the House of Representatives.”


“Congress passed the Equal Pay Act more than 50 years ago, but the sad reality is that today women, on average, still only make 80 cents for every dollar men make,” added Senator Patty Murray. “For women of color—the pay gap is even worse. African American women working full-time only make 61 cents for every dollar white men make and Latinas on average are paid 53 cents for every dollar their white male colleagues make. The gender wage gap doesn’t just hurt women—it hurts families, communities, and our economy. So I’m proud to introduce the Paycheck Fairness Act today to make important updates to the Equal Pay Act and reaffirm that every worker in America has the right to receive equal pay for equal work.”


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. The House legislation has 240 cosponsors (every Democratic Member of the House and one Republican Member) and the Senate legislation has 45 cosponsors.


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