Congressman García Votes to End Gender Wage Discrimination
WASHINGTON, DC.-- Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) voted today in support of H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that seeks to address gender wage discrimination. Congressman García issued the following statement:
“Equal pay for equal work is a basic principle for any fair society, but our country has never lived up to it. Today I voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act to change that and ensure pay equity for women in the workforce.
“It’s inexcusable that in 2021 a woman still makes, on average, 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man. But racial discrimination makes the wage gap for women of color even wider: Latinas make only 55 cents, while Black women make 61 cents for every dollar earned by a man. This means it takes 10 extra months for a Latina, and approximately 8 months for a Black woman to earn the same amount of money a white man makes in a year.”
“Equal pay is not simply a women’s issue. Pay inequity harms families, businesses and our economy. Latina and Black mothers have less money to support themselves and their families, less to spend on basic goods like food and medicine, and even less to save and invest for the future.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit working women of color the hardest and demonstrated the cruelty of the gender wage gap. Women of color risked their lives as essential workers and yet had to stand in long lines at the food banks due to layoffs and cut hours. We cannot continue to deny these women equal pay at work. Passing the Paycheck Fairness Act is a major step at addressing this gender-based wage discrimination. This vote is for our mothers, our daughters, our sisters and all the women that work tirelessly to provide for their loved ones.”
The Paycheck Fairness Act would:
- Require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons and not based on gender alone;
- Ban retaliation against workers who discuss their wages;
- Limits how employers can use the salary history of prospective employees;
- Create a negotiation and skills training program;
- Remove obstacles in the Equal Pay Act to allow workers to participate in class action lawsuits that challenge systemic pay discrimination; and
- Improve the Department of Labor’s (DOL) tools for enforcing the Equal Pay Act.
A fact sheet on the Paycheck Fairness Act can be found here.