Loopholes within the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that allow discrimination in pay due to gender would be no more if Alabama Sen. Doug Jones’ Paycheck Fairness Act passes.
On Jan. 30, 2019, Jones and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, want the Paycheck Fairness Act to help dissipate the wage gap between men and women, focusing on women of color.
“Despite the strides we’ve taken since the Equal Pay Act of 1963, millions of women, and particularly women of color, still face wage discrimination,” Jones said.
Jones said it is up to Congress to help women fight for equal pay.
The act was one of the first things the senator cosponsored after being elected in 2018.
The update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 would hold business more accountable and help put an end to discriminatory habits in the workplace be challenged by those wrongly paid less. This includes helping employees find solutions for wage gap problems.
“Congress passed the Equal Pay Act more than 50 years ago, but the sad reality is that today women, on average, still only make 80 cents for every dollar men make,” Murray said.
Women of color are paid less than white women to the dollar that men make. Black women make only 63 cents to the dollar, and Hispanic women make 53 cents on average to white men, Murray said.
The wage gap affects women and those around them.
“The gender wage gap doesn’t just hurt women—it hurts families, communities, and our economy,” Murray said. “So I’m proud to introduce the Paycheck Fairness Act today to make important updates to the Equal Pay Act and reaffirm that every worker in America has the right to receive equal pay for equal work.”
Jones and Murray hope the Paycheck Fairness Act will strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and uphold the goal Congress envisioned 50 years ago when it was first passed.
“We took an important step forward a decade ago thanks to the courage and persistence of Lilly Ledbetter, but as long as women still face a wage gap with their peers, we must continue to fight for equal pay,” Jones said.