Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter voted in favor and spoke on behalf of two critical pieces of legislation that will help end gender-based pay discrimination. The Paycheck Fairness Act and The Lily Ledbetter Act both passed the House.
“This is a family issue, not a women’s issue,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “These two critical pieces of legislation will help rid our country of gender-based discrimination, and will help American families.”
The Paycheck Fairness Act will help close damaging loopholes and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The bill will ensure gender-based discrimination is treated equivalently to race-based discrimination. Therefore, employers seeking to justify unequal pay must demonstrate that the discrepancy is not gender-based, but job-related.
The Lilly Ledbetter Act will restore the rights of victims of gender-based pay discrimination by recognizing that each discriminatory paycheck counts as a violation of the law, thus restarting the clock on the statute of limitations. The Lilly Ledbetter Act is named for a woman who worked at a Goodyear Tire for two decades, but was paid less than her male counterparts. Ledbetter sued Goodyear Tire and a jury found that her employer had illegally discriminated against her. However, the Supreme Court ruled that Ledbetter had waited too long to sue for pay discrimination.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, on average, women only make 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The Institute of Women’s Policy Research has found that this wage disparity will cost women anywhere from $400,000 to $2 million in lost wages over a lifetime.