Executive Actions, Calls for Paycheck Fairness Act Passage
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, released the following statement today on Equal Pay Day which symbolizes when, more than three months into the year, women's wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. According to U.S. Census Data, American women still earn only 77 cents to every dollar made by a full-time working man.
"As we mark Equal Pay Day, I applaud President Obama's executive actions today to help combat pay discrimination and strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women. The President is signing an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other. The President is also instructing the Labor Department to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit compensation data paid to their employees, including data by sex and race.
"Equal pay for equal work has been one of my top priorities dating back to the women's movement when I served on the Board of the Ms. Foundation for Women. I have worked with Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Smeal, Patsy Mink and many other women pioneers in the women's movement to highlight issues affecting working women, and to create and support public policy for equal treatment for all women.
"Even with President Obama's executive action's today and enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Act in 2009, there's still more work to do in Congress. We should pledge to advance the When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: An Economic Agenda for Women and Families unveiled last year by House Democrats. This economic agenda includes key women's issues like fair pay, work and family balance and childcare. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a critical component of When Women Succeed, America Succeeds. It is time to pass this long-overdue legislation to ensure equal pay for women in the workplace. The Paycheck Fairness Act would modernize the landmark Equal Pay Act by providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work.
"Equal pay is not a woman's issue – it's a family issue. Today, American families increasingly rely on women's wages to make ends meet. To some, 23 cents on the dollar pay gap may seem small, but for the average American woman, this disparity amounts to lost income each year – income that could be used for food, clothes, rent and other basic necessities. I will continue to fight for fairness and equality for women in California and across America."