Congressman Tim Ryan Joins Congresswoman DeLauro in Reintroducing Paycheck Fairness Act to End Wage Discrimination

Apr 1, 2015 Issues: Helping Working Families

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan today joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation which would help close the wage gap between women and men working the same jobs. On average, a woman makes just 78 cents for every dollar made by a man.

“The United States wage gap has not narrowed at all over the last 25 years. Right now women make 77 cents on every dollar earned by men for equivalent jobs. If we are going to make the American Dream a reality for all Americans, then we need to ensure that women are paid an equal wage for equal work,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Just this week, it was reported that male nurses earn $5100 more a year than females in similar positions. This is inexcusable and we can and must do better.”

The Paycheck Fairness Act builds upon the landmark Equal Pay Act signed into law by President Kennedy in 1963. It closes loopholes that have kept the Equal Pay Act from achieving its goal of equal pay by requiring employers to show that pay disparities are truly related to job performance, not gender.

It also prohibits employer retaliation for sharing salary information with coworkers. Under current law employers can sue and punish employees for sharing such information. In addition, it strengthens remedies for pay discrimination by increasing compensation women can pursue, allowing them to seek both back pay and punitive damages for pay discrimination.

On January 29, 2009, President Obama’s signed his first bill since becoming President, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which overturned the 180-day statute of limitations for women to contest pay discrimination. The Paycheck Fairness Act would close the loopholes that allow pay discrimination to continue in the first place and, with Ledbetter, provide employees the rights they need to challenge and eliminate pay discrimination in the workplace.