WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) helped introduce legislation to close the gender wage gap and address paycheck discrimination. The Senators introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, along with U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), on the 10th anniversary of President Obama signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, which lifted limitations preventing victims of gender discrimination in the workplace from getting their day in court.

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“Every single day, women across our nation contribute so much to the success of their families, their communities and their country. Yet, they still are paid less than their male counterparts for the same work, and the wage gap is even worse for women of color,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to cosponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act with Senator Durbin and my Democratic colleagues, which will help achieve economic equality for women and their families. We must build on the progress made by the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Equal Pay Act by protecting women who stand up for equal pay from retaliation and encouraging employers to finally close the wage gap.”

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“Ten years after the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, women in the workforce continue to face pay inequalities. In Illinois, women make 78 cents to every dollar a man does. This gap is even wider for women of color in Illinois, with African American women earning roughly 63 cents and Latina women earning just 49 cents for every dollar earned by white men,” Durbin said. That is why I joined Senator Duckworth and Democrats in Congress to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act. It's time to close the gender pay gap and provide equal pay for equal work.”

"Ten years ago, Congress and President Obama achieved an important victory for women seeking to challenge pay discrimination in court with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. But it was never intended for that bill to be passed as the only fix for the ongoing pay disparity between men and women," said Lilly Ledbetter. "Women across the country still need the tools in the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure they get equal pay for equal work. I applaud Congresswoman DeLauro for her leadership in this fight since 1997, as well as Speaker Pelosi for being a tireless advocate and making this a priority in the new Congress. Now is the time to get this done."

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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