Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-04-14

Senate To Vote on Equal Pay Legislation

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that the Senate will vote on equal pay legislation as soon as next week. The vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 84) is expected to be on Equal Pay Day - the day up to which a woman must work in the current year to earn the what men made during the previous year. This year, Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 8.

Kerri Sleeman, an AAUW member from Hancock, Michigan, testified in support of the law at a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing on Tuesday. Sleeman worked as a design supervisor for an engineering company in Michigan for 5 years. "After being told by my employer that I couldn't negotiate my starting salary, I learned after my company went bankrupt that men I had supervised were making much more than I was," Sleeman said. "When I asked my former supervisor why I had been paid less, he said it was likely because those men were the sole earners for their wives and children. I was considered less worthy just because I was a woman."

Women are the sole or primary breadwinners in 40 percent of families with children under the age of 18. But, on average, women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and women of color make even less. Black women earn just 64 cents for every dollar earned by white men, and Latina earn only 54 cents. The pay gap costs women about $434,000 over the course of their careers - impacting the ability of women to provide for their families and care for their loved ones. The pay gap also cuts into women's Social Security, pensions, and retirement.

"Women earn 23 cents less for every dollar a man earns," said Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate. "Yet, women don't get a 23 percent discount on their student loans. They don't get 23 percent off their first mortgage or a discount on their utility bill, just because they earn less than men. In fact, women often pay more for many of the same goods and services. Women pay more in medical costs than men: an estimated $10,000 over a lifetime. Women are often responsible for child care - an average working mom pays more for child care than tuition."

The Paycheck Fairness Act would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to require employers to demonstrate that any pay differences between men and women doing the same work are based on legitimate business reasons, and not based on sex. The Act would also end pay secrecy by prohibiting retaliation against employees who share salary information.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Senators to Support the Paycheck Fairness Act!

Media Resources: Politico, 4/1/14; Senator Barbara Mikulski, 4/1/14; US Senate Committee´┐Żon Health, Education, Labor and Pensions


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

9/17/2014 Despite an Overall Decline in the Poverty Rate, the Number of Women in Poverty Hasn't Changed in a Year - Last year, almost 18 million women lived in poverty in the US - and that number hasn't improved for women, despite the overall poverty rate declining. Analysis from the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) of recently released US Census Bureau data shows that the poverty rate for women is not only virtually unchanged, but - at 14.5 percent - it's the highest in two decades. . . .
 
9/16/2014 Senate Republicans Blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act Again - The Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) yesterday, marking the second time this year and the fourth time since 2012 legislators voted along party lines against the equal pay legislation. . . .
 
9/15/2014 The Economic Recovery Isn't Reaching Black Women in the Workforce - The economic recovery isn't making a difference for African American women this year, according to data analysis from the National Women's Law Center (NWLC). Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the NWLC found that the overall unemployment rate dropped 1.1 percentage points in the period between August 2013 and August 2014. . . .