WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the senior-most Democrat on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and every Democrat in Congress in reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bipartisan legislation would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963, help eliminate the gender wage gap and guarantee that women can challenge pay discrimination and hold employers accountable.
“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 help Senator Murray reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act with Senator Durbin and my Democratic colleagues to help our nation 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 advocate for equal pay from retaliation and encouraging employers to finally close the wage gap.”
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“Twelve years after the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, I am proud to join Senator Duckworth and Democrats in Congress to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act,” Durbin said. “Women in Illinois typically make 81 cents for every dollar that a man does, with the disparity for women of color being even larger. Black women earn roughly 63 cents and Latina women earn just 49 cents in comparison to every dollar earned by white men in Illinois. It is far past time that we close the gender pay gap and provide equal pay for equal work.”
More than five decades after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women in Illinois on average still make only 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. That gap is even wider for women of color. Compared to white men, Black women are paid 63 cents and Latina women are paid 49 cents. Nationally, the current wage gap represents a loss of more than $400,000 over the course of her career for a woman working full time year-round. The wage gap impacts women’s ability to save for retirement and reduces their total Social Security and pension benefits, contributing to more older women living in poverty.
Pay inequity not only affects women – it affects children and families and our entire economy. That is because women in this country are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of families with children. Over the past two decades, women have made up an increasing share of the family income in all family types.