Rep. Lawson Works to Close the Gender Wage Gap with Paycheck Fairness Act
January 30, 2019
Legislation Introduced on the 10th Anniversary of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
WASHINGTON DC – U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) joined other House Democrats in cosponsoring H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act. The legislation is intended to help close the wage gap between women and men working the same jobs. Today, women make just 80 cents for every dollar made by a man for equal work.
President Barack Obama’s first bill, signed into law on January 29, 2009, was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which overturned the 180-day statute of limitations for women to contest pay discrimination. The Paycheck Fairness Act will close the loopholes that allow pay discrimination and, with Ledbetter, provide employees the rights they need to challenge and eliminate pay discrimination in the workplace.
“The Paycheck Fairness Act ensures that women will no longer be fighting on their own for equal pay for equal work,” Rep. Lawson said. “Ten years after President Obama made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, women are still battling the wage gap. One key way to start closing the pay gap is for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which strengthens and closes loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act. This critical legislation will unlock women’s full economic potential, empower families and grow our economy.”
The bill would require employers to show pay disparity is 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 seek, allowing them to not only seek back pay, but also punitive damages for pay discrimination. It also offers women access to salary negotiation training programs to give them the tools to advocate for higher wages.