Washington, DC—Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter stood up for women around the country by voting for legislation that will help quell gender-based pay discrimination by closing loopholes that have allowed employers to avoid responsibility for inequitable pay. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which the Congresswoman cosponsored, passed the House 247 to 178.
“Although there have been great strides since the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women continue to earn less than men,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “This important legislation will help ensure our daughters are protected against pay discrimination.”
The Paycheck Fairness Act:
· Requires that employers seeking to justify unequal pay bear the burden of proving that its actions are job-related and consistent with a business necessity.
· Prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers.
· Puts gender-based discrimination sanctions on equal footing with other forms of wage discrimination – such as discrimination based on race, disability or age – by allowing women to sue for compensatory and punitive damages.
· Requires the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to work with employers in order to eliminate pay disparities.
· Requires the Department of Labor to continue to collect and disseminate wage information based on gender.
· Creates a new grant program to help strengthen the negotiation skills of girls and women.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women currently make only 77 cents per dollar earned by a man. This disparity is estimated to cost a working woman between $400,000 and $2 million over her lifetime.
For more information on the Paycheck Fairness Act, click here.