Sarbanes Votes to Pass Paycheck Fairness Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today voted for H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill to help ensure that American women receive equal pay for equal work by strengthening the Equal Pay Act to end gender-based wage discrimination.
“It’s wholly unacceptable that women in America only earn 80 cents for every dollar that men make,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I was proud to join House Democrats today in taking this momentous step forward to close the gender pay gap so that hardworking American women receive the equal pay that they deserve.”
Today’s gender-based wage gap costs women who work full-time more than $400,000 over the course of their entire working lives. The wage gap is even larger for women of color, with African-American women earning on average only 61 cents, Latinas on average earning only 53 cents and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women earning only 62 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
To close the wage gap and address loopholes and weak enforcement mechanisms in existing law, the Paycheck Fairness Act updates and improves the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Among its many key provisions, the Paycheck Fairness Act:
- Requires employers to prove and justify that pay disparities are legitimate and not based on sex;
- Bans retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages;
- Ensures women can receive the same robust remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subjected to discrimination based on race and ethnicity;
- Helps businesses improve their equal pay practices;
- Recognizes excellence in pay practices by businesses and empowers women and girls by creating a negotiation skills training program; and
- Prohibits employers from relying on salary history in determining future pay, so that pay discrimination does not follow women from job to job.
For a fact sheet on H.R. 7, see here.
For a section-by-section of H.R. 7, see here.